From osteo ldn

HOW TO FINALLY PREVENT KNEE PAIN WHEN RUNNING: YOUR TOP 9 TIPS

Running, a fantastic cardio exercise. Yet, many suffer from the same problem: knee pain.

The myth that running will destroy your knees has been around for an age. In fact, many people stop running due to this!

We don't want you to stop your favourite form of exercise. So, know this - there are many ways to prevent knee pain when running.

Before you lace up, you need to know that there are a few common mistakes that cause aches and niggles. And once you know more about these, you will can how to fix the issue.

From Osteo LDN, we have some useful tips to share with all the runners out there struggling with the same problem. Changing a few things can make a massive difference for runners frustrated with knee pain. So, if this is you, make sure to read on!

WHAT CAUSES KNEE PAIN?

There are several reasons for knee pain. And although you may feel discomfort, usually it is okay to run if you take the necessary preventive measures to solve the underlying issue.

Depending on the issue, there are a few general recovery methods that you can try. We tell many runners to strengthen their quads and hips, change footwear, or foam roll every day. In some specific cases, we encourage runners to rest or cross-train in ways that don't involve impactful knee movement.

If you're suffering from knee pain and want a thorough bespoke assessment, book an appointment with an experienced physician today.

Here is your list of the most common problems that runners face:


RUNNER'S KNEE

Around 25% of knee injuries belong in this category. Unfortunately for you ladies out there, women are more affected by this than men. And a big cause of this issue are muscular imbalances.

You know that you suffer from runner's knee when you feel pain in and around the kneecap. Especially if you feel more discomfort when running, squatting, or climbing stairs.

ILIOTIBIAL BAND SYNDROME

The iliotibial band (ITB) is a fibrous tissue that stretches from the hips to the knee. It has a crucial role in keeping your knees stable whilst running.

When the ITB tightens, it can get irritated as it crosses repeatedly over a bony prominence on the outside of the knee. And you can recognize iliotibial band syndrome when you feel pain on the outside part of the knee.

This problem is easy to identify, as the discomfort appears five minutes into running and calms down when you finish.

To prevent this issue, strengthen your core muscles and glutes. The best exercises to activate these muscle groups are glute bridges, toe taps, planks and dead bugs.

You can also use a foam roller to release the tensor fasciae latae muscle daily. Doing this will help to reduce ITB tightness.
PATELLAR TENDINITIS

The high impact on the knees from running puts pressure on the patellar tendon. You know you suffer from this issue when you feel pain below the kneecap and the top of the shin. Also, you'll feel sharp pain during running.

For recovery, we advise pausing running until the pain disappears and a bespoke rehab programme including eccentric exercises. We also recommend applying ice to relieve the discomfort.

OSTEOARTHRITIS

Over time, the protective cartilage that cushions the bones in the knee joint can wear out. This results in bones in the knee joint grinding on each other during running. As a result, you may feel stiffness and pain inside the knee.

If this is the source of your problem, continuing with physical activity is key. Not stopping movement is crucial to managing osteoarthritis and we recommend embracing strength training and movement programming.

As well as this, you should really try to avoid hard surfaces when running.

HOW TO PREVENT KNEE PAIN WHEN RUNNING

KEEP YOUR KNEES DOWN

While lifting the knees is for sprinters, it can cause knee pain if you run for longer distances.

Here's one smart cue that'll help to fix this. Instead of lifting the knees, make sure to lift the heels. Let the heels float behind and keep the knees low.

PREVENT HEEL STRIKING

Running is a high impact sport. High impactful forces through the knees can lead to discomfort and joint pain. If this happens, then you can try changing your stride to reduce the impact on your knees.

Over-striding is something you want to avoid to minimize shock. Runners shouldn't let their feet get ahead of them. Instead, let the feet land under your body and not past the knees.

LEAN FORWARD

Leaning forward whilst running can instantly reduce impactful forces on the knee joint. This can give instant beneficial results! So give this a go.
DON'T STRAIGHTEN THE LEGS

When landing their feet on the ground, many runners tend to straighten their legs. This'll not only put pressure on the knees but on the heels as well. To solve this, keep your knees bent and "soft" when your feet land.

GET YOUR FEET PARALLEL

Foot splay can cause pain in the area below your knee. If your toes point in different directions when running, you put undue pressure on the ankles and knees. Run with your feet parallel and pointing forward.

STRENGTHEN YOUR CORE

Your core and hip muscles play a huge part in controlling your body during running. We highly recommend strength training for runners.

Some basic exercises that you can even do at home are planks, fire hydrants, and clamshells.

For a more bespoke running training assessment and programme, feel free to book a session with us today.

USE A FOAM ROLLER


Foam rollers are a runner's best friend. Adding foam rolling to a warm-up and cool-down routine can boost circulation and aid recovery.

Key areas to target are glutes, quads, TFL, hamstrings, calves and don't forget the tibialis anterior (shin muscles).

Use quick bouts of rolling with lighter pressure for your warm-up and deeper, longer bouts for your cool-down.

You want to increase mobility and circulation whilst warming up without relaxing your muscles and reducing power output.

However, for the cool-down, get deep and into those tense spots and really aim to relax those tight muscles.

Spend 5-10 minutes each time.

IMPROVE HIP STABILITY

One of the common myths about running is that you don't need strength training. Yet, weak hips are a common problem for runners.

The hips play a crucial role in stabilizing each leg when it hits the ground. Strength in the hip area will provide better knee alignment whilst running and help to prevent potential knee injuries. So, make sure to strengthen your hips!

Some excellent exercises are clams, single-leg bridges, band walks, and prone leg lifts.
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GET THE HELP OF A PROFESSIONAL

In some cases, you'll need the help of a professional to identify the underlying issue.

Having a full movement and posture check works incredibly well for runners with these issues.

By assessing the mechanics of your whole body, therapists can find the real source of your issues.

Monthly massages and MOT treatments are of enormous help to runners. Releasing tight muscles and trigger points help to keep joints and muscles moving freely and without restriction. With this comes better running form and alignment and as a result; fewer knee niggles and pains.

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU FEEL PAIN WHILST RUNNING?

Preventing knee pain when running is as important as identifying it. We already talked about specific injuries and what to do when you experience them.

Keep in mind that not all of them are severe, so often, you can continue with your running routine.

When the pain appears during running; try stopping, walking and change to a softer surface to see if the problem persists.

One of the best ways to help recover from knee pain after a run is RICE.

- Get enough REST.

- Apply ICE to the area for 20 minutes 3 times a day.

- Wear COMPRESSION clothing during and after your runs.

- And keep your leg ELEVATED post-run.

If the pain disappears the next day, you're good to go again. If it doesn't, don't go for a run and let your body recover further.

While it's okay to run with stiffness, it is better to rest your body when you have experienced an injury.

Listen to your body and the signs it gives you.

If you have an active lifestyle and don't feel like resting, make sure to cross-train. You can have great workouts biking, rowing or using a ski-erg!

We know that for many of you, running is your meditation and your chance to stay healthy and on top of your day.

If pain is persisting, contact a professional for a running and knee assessment today. We want to make sure you enjoy your favourite activity for a long time.
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