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2412 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 25, 2014 10:22 PM by JamesJohnsonLMT
yelloboy32 Rookie 2 posts since
Jun 23, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 27, 2013 7:36 PM

Knee tightness/stiffness and pain in back of knee

Hi everyone,


Over the last three months, I have been training for a half marathon (Oct. 6) and have run a few 10K's. My weekly mileage is increasing according to my training plan and right now I'm running about 25-30 miles per week, four times a week.


About nine days ago, I had a long run of 10 miles and the next day I found both knees to be extremely stiff and tight. This has continued through today but like the hard head that I am, I have continued to run; about 20 more miles since that long run. Now within the last few days I am experiencing pain in the back of the right knee at the top of the calf.




  1. Stiff and tight knees primarily on the inner portion but NO Swelling at all and NOT sore to the touch on the outer or inner knee
  2. Knees feel like they need to be cracked at times during the day - for those who crack their knuckles and you can't crack it, that's the feeling contributing to the tightness
  3. Pain in the back of the right knee towards the top of the calf. Sore to the touch but loosens up after about .5 mile into a run and walking throughout the day
  4. Self diagnosed that I defintely over pronate and need to get fitted for a better pair of shoes. Been running in Nike Frees the last three months. Switched to an old pair of Nike Dura Glides for tonight's run and felt better.
  5. Stretching throughout the day provides some relief but overall stiffness subsidies as the day moves along
  6. Icing after runs helps


Any feedback and advice is greatly appreciated.


  • shipo Legend 499 posts since
    Aug 9, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 28, 2013 6:44 AM (in response to yelloboy32)
    Knee tightness/stiffness and pain in back of knee

    Can you find a dirt trail to run on?  I haven't had any knee issues since I switched to dirt.

    Fat old man PRs:

    • 1-mile (point to point, gravity assist): 5:50
    • 2-mile: 13:49
    • 5K (gravity assist last mile): 21:31
    • 5-Mile: 37:24
    • 10K (first 10K of my Half Marathon): 48:16
    • 10-Mile (first 10 miles of my Half Marathon): 1:17:40
    • Half Marathon: 1:42:13
  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,291 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009

    You may be overtraining for this Half. 30 miles a week, in my opinion, is too many miles for most people to begin with. If you're a pro, have at it, but if I were you, I'd cut back. That alone may be enough to start recovery.


    Overpronation is a problem for many people, but you've dealt with it pretty well so far. If you can get past this issue, it may be a containable amount of excess repetitive motion. Any solution to that is worth pursuing over time, but bear in mind there are risks associated with changing your stride or footplant this close to a major race. Your body may not have enough time to adjust to the changes, and you could cause other compensation injuries.

  • forgeblast Rookie 1 posts since
    Mar 18, 2014
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Mar 18, 2014 12:10 PM (in response to yelloboy32)
    Knee tightness/stiffness and pain in back of knee

    I know this is an old post, I wanted to say I get that knee cracking feeling too.  For me its related to the outside of my knee the ITB.  I was in horrible pain for the last 3 years after a rock climbing fall.  What helped me is 1. stretching 5 mins two - three times a day. I have four stretches that I do I hold them for 30 seconds a piece.    The stretches I use come from the navy seal training webpage.  Apparently they have some issues with recruits running in wet sand and many of them have it.  I also found that doing Frankenstein walks, aka monster walks to help strengthen my hips have helped.  When I do not stretch I feel it. 

  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,291 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Mar 25, 2014 10:22 PM (in response to forgeblast)
    Knee tightness/stiffness and pain in back of knee

    I am glad your regimen has worked out for you. I too believe that stretching can be a great way to increase or maintain flexibility in a body that may otherwise be too tight. What I and a number of others here agree on, though, is that stretching is a risky way to treat many soft-tissue injuries. When the problem you are stretching is more of a condition than an injury, such as chronic tightness resulting in misaligned joints, the benefits of stretching can definitely outweigh the risks. Just be careful not to stretch tissue when it is injured or in active contraction, when injuries can be created or complicated.

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