If you like to run like I do you’ve probably suffered with knee pain at some point in time throughout your journey. Your mileage, speed and overall performance slowly diminishes with every run and you find yourself skipping those perfect summer days because of the pain. Without a doubt running can be damaging to the knees and many other joints you probably don’t think about. We try buying better shoes, knee braces and countless other supports to help ease the pain but the result is still the same. Why does this happen? When we run, regardless of your level of expertise, we create acute micro damage to our muscles which can lead to an inflammatory response. This damage is easily repairable and our body takes on that responsibility daily. Problems arise when we don’t give our body a chance to repair damaged tissue. Age and other factors play a role but rest is most important. I know, I know you can’t tell a runner to rest, so here is the solution. Consider cross-training with a few days of running, biking even swimming in between. This will allow other muscle groups and joints to take on the burden of your intense workouts while giving your knees time to heal for the next run. Most healing will take place naturally with just a little rest in between but if you continue to create more and more micro trauma which brings an inflammatory response you’ll find yourself in my office more often than you should. Chronic muscle damage can lead to joint damage which creates a snowball effect and trust me the outcome is not pleasing. Remember rest is important and if you’re like me consider cross-training as an option if you need to do something. Good luck and see you on the trails!