Does Running On Concrete Damage Your Knees? [2021]

It’s likely you’ve heard that running on concrete is bad for your knees, whether you’re a runner or not. Your first impression may have been dismissive; your second impression may have been believing. We will answer the question, does running on concrete damage your knees in this article.

Whatever your running experience, whether you’re a neophyte getting ready for your first 5 miles or an experienced veteran chipping out 10-mile runs before breakfast, you’ve probably heard running is not so easy on the knees.

It seems sensible that patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is commonly called “runner’s knee.” The concept is widely accepted.

As a runner, you are sore. There are times when our feet ache, our muscles ache, and our ankles and knees ache. The soreness that follows a hard workout is a good sign. However, too much soreness and pain may be an indication that something is amiss.

The majority of non-runners tell runners that running is bad for their knees. It is true that runners do experience knee pain for a variety of reasons despite evidence to the contrary.

Knees also absorb a good deal of shock when running, so they are a significant part of this. It’s crucial that you diagnose the problem when you have knee pain before you can fix it.

There are a lot of factors to consider besides your shoes, stride, and bones, and connective tissues. Think about your running surface, your running shoes, knee problems, your routine for running, and much more.

That is why you have come here so you can get the answer you are looking for, you might already have searched a lot on Google, however, the question is: Does running on concrete damage your knees? In this article, we have tried to address all of your questions in-depth.

Now let’s find out what to do when you have knee pain or knee osteoarthritis.

Table of Contents

How Does Running on Concrete Damage Your Knees?

Running on a hard surface or converter can damage your knees as researchers found in a study published in July 2013 that running does not increase your risk of osteoarthritis. While running increases pressure on two specific areas of the knees, it also increases strain on the entire knee.

You can expect your body weight to be loaded between 4.7 and 6.9 times on the major tendon of your quadriceps muscles (the patella tendon).

Does Running On Concrete Damage Your Knees

The knee cap’s compression forces (patella-femoral joint) can reach a range of seven to eleven times its body weight when you run. As a result of irritation of the knee cap’s lining, the knee is one of the most common sources of knee pain. Specifically, the synovial sheath.

Unlike most cells in the body, this thin layer of cells has a very good blood supply and a good nerve supply. This is the lining of a joint capsule. A small fragment of cartilage breaks off and lands in this lining when the knee cap cartilage is irritated. As a result, you will experience irritation and pain. Besides the fat pad, there are other sources of pain.

Under the kneecap, there is a small mass of fatty tissue. The supply of blood and nerves to this area is also extremely rich. To protect the patella tendon from the knee cap, the patella tendon resides here. This can lead to irritation and pain in the knee due to poor control of the knee cap.

When running, the tendon and kneecap are subjected to greater loads than when walking. As a result, during running, there is more time spent in the air than when the foot is in contact with the ground during walking. When you run or walk, you apply about the same amount of force to your knees.

What are the causes of knee pain running and running injuries?

There is a common misconception that running ruins your knees, which is not true according to research. Here are some causes which lead us to knee problems.


As you get heavier, more impact forces are placed on your knees. As a result, the knee joint lining is more likely to be abraded by friction. At the beginning of your running program, maybe you will combine walking and running with other non-weight-bearing exercises.

Exercises such as cycling can be beneficial for cardiovascular health. This is at least until your knees get strong enough to handle the load and keep your knees protected.

Lack of Strength and Poor Biomechanics

The most common cause of knee pain we see in the clinic when beginning a running program is a lack of strength. It is common to have weak gluteal, quadriceps, and calf muscles, which are important for propulsion. As the lower limb runs, these muscles provide support. The muscles involved in running change the position and burdens on the knee, making us more likely to suffer an injury.

Does Running On Concrete Damage Your Knees

Concrete or Hard Surface Running

The best explanation answer for “Does running on concrete or hard surfaces damage your knees” seems to be that humans have built-in shock absorption when they run. In addition, the proper running form makes a significant difference, as is often the case with injuries.

The number one cause of knee injuries is poor running form, which has a greater impact than the surface itself. It may be a smart idea to check your form first before avoiding hard surfaces.

What Kind of Running is Best for the Knees?

Running on grass or sand is beneficial for runners due to many reasons. With every step, the user places less force on the knee due to the surface’s softness and absorption. Furthermore, running in sand activates the quadriceps and hip muscles. Your knee muscles are supported and strengthened by these muscles.

Tips for Runners to Care for the Body and Prevent Knee Pain or Injury?

Use the Right Running Shoes

Choosing the best running shoe makes all the difference. To reduce the shock you encounter when landing hard on your feet, you might get a pair of shoes that are known for being springy or feature extra cushioning to absorb the shock. It’s unlikely you’ll see as big of a difference as changing your running form, but it’s a good start.

Build Muscle Strength in Your Quads and Hamstrings

A muscle or joint injury is caused by overuse or weak muscles. Strengthening them is the best thing you can do. To absorb impact more effectively in your knees, you need strong quadriceps to help keep your kneecap in place.

Do More Cross-training

Finally, doing more cross-training, regardless of whether it is a change in your regular running routine or to make up for lost mileage, can help you stay active and strengthen your muscles. By avoiding the high-impact motions of running, your body benefits.

Do WarmUp

Will I hurt my knees by running on a hard surface? Therefore, if you intend to do running on the road or a hard surface, make sure you warm-up for 8-10 minutes before you start. Alternatively, you can warm up with 10 minutes of medium to brisk walking before starting, and don’t over-extend yourself at first. 

You can start with just 30 minutes of walking a day for the first week and slowly ramp up the intensity.

Does Running On Concrete Damage Your Knees

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Putting this into practice is much harder than it sounds. This is especially true if you are trying to lose weight by running. Start your running program however while working on your weight and combining it with walking and other exercises that don’t put any stress on the joints.

Avoid Overdoing It

There is no need to run a marathon every week to train for a marathon. Even top marathon runners do not do that. The importance of load management cannot be overstated.  Consider the progression of your running volume for a balance between best performance and minimizing damage to your joints if you plan to run marathons.


As far as your posture is concerned, everything depends on it. We do not see any problems causing knee pain or knee pain while running if it is executed correctly.

Make sure you consult a doctor before beginning any type of exercise if you have experienced a Knee injury before. Before and after workouts, always stretch your whole body from head to toe.

It is recommended to stretch dynamically before a workout and statically after a workout. Lastly, depending on your form and physique, running on concrete, pavement, or hard surfaces may be problematic for your knees.

We recommend that instead of focusing on that problem you focus on what you can change: form, shoes, training, etc.

To reduce knee pain on concrete, you’ll probably need to run more on a variety of surfaces as well as use other methods like stretching. For many of us, it’s almost impossible to completely eliminate running on hard surfaces. But that’s something we suggest you figure out for yourself so you can determine what’s best for you.

Leave a Comment