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How Can I Run Without Pain?

How Can I Run Without Pain?

I'm active in cross-country at my school and I love to run and stay fit. But I have excess calcium on my right knee and I get a huge muscle spasm in my lower back. What can I do to increase my chances of running better and staying fit without hurting my back or knee as much?
- Ashley*

When your car is making an awful noise or isn't driving quite right, you don't just keep driving around. You take it to a mechanic ASAP. The same applies to your body — you should never run or participate in a physical activity if it hurts. If you are having this type of intense pain, your best bet is to get it checked out by a doctor, preferably one who specializes in sports medicine.

It's possible the sports medicine specialist will recommend exercises or refer you to physical therapy. A PT program will not only help ease your back spasms, but will include exercises that can strengthen the muscles around the knee and lessen the pain. The sooner you get it checked out, the sooner you can get back to pain-free running!

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: October 2013

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.