Where sports injuries are concerned, your knees are perhaps the most affected area. This is especially true if your a runner. The last thing you want is to have your knees hurt from running.
Whether you are into long races, trail running or sprinting, keeping your knees healthy is extremely important to reach and maintain your fitness goals.. For that reason, you need to take good care of your them.
Most knee injuries and knee pain from running just show up unexpectedly. In many cases, knee injuries creep up slowly and manifest when you least expect it.
Unfortunately, since running is a high impact sport , runners are vulnerable to experiencing knee pain. This can be uncomfortable and discouraging, especially if running is your most prefer way of keeping fit.
Fortunately, you can do something about it. We have compiled a list of tips to help you know what to do when your knees hurt from running.
Ensure You Don’t Heel-Strike
A common cause of knee pain, also known as runner's knee or scientifically as patellofemoral pain syndrome, occurs from over striding. This occurs when your feet are always ahead relative to the knees.
To be on the safe side, ensure that you do not step way past the knees. In addition, you tend to feel less or no pain at all if your leg swings rearward instead of forward.
When the feet hit the ground ahead of the knees, each foot strike acts like a brake, and that sends stresses to your knees. The anatomy of your knees does not equip them to act as shock absorber.
With time, this stress causes sore muscles or joint aches. If you notice any kind of discomfort around the knee cap, try to decode what the body is saying, and adjust your stride accordingly.
Here’s what to do. Lean in from the ankles and let your strides unfold from behind. Also, allow your feet to land below rather than ahead of you.
Don’t Lift the Knees when Running
That’s correct. Do not pay attention to the things you read in magazines that advice you to lift the knees if you are looking for a longer step unless you are a sprinter. It is definitely not the way to cover a distance longer than one mile.
When you lift the knees, your feet hit the ground ahead of you and each stride is like a brake trying to stop your body which can lead to patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Instead, allow your knees to swing a little lower. As you approach the back end of a stride, bend the knees as you allow your heels to float in your wake.
Lean Your Body in the Forward Direction
An important thing to remember is that each time the feet strike the ground ahead of your body, you are decelerating, and the impact goes straight to the knees. Instead, try to adopt a mid-foot stance.
Keep the Knees Bent and Soft
Most runners tend to over-stride followed by a straight knee as the feet hit the ground. This causes a lot of stress to the knee and heel. Rather, ensure that you remember not to straighten the legs as you run.
Keep Pointed in the Direction You Are Going
Sometimes, knee pain results from splaying. When you splay, a lot of torque is applied to the knees each time your feet strike the ground.
To minimize knee joint pain, ensure your feet are pointing in the direction you are heading. Also, be sure to rotate your leg in the inward direction toward the center line until both feet are parallel.
This way, you are able to straighten the abductors, which will realign the knees. Moreover, your knee cap will orient in the correct direction rather than twisting and bending as your jog.
Be careful. Foot splaying causes inflammation of the iliotibial region, which connects to your tibia immediately below the knees.
For long-lasting relief, ensure you practice medial rotation for a few weeks so that your knees can adjust to this change. A change in bio mechanics takes time to work.
Cushioned Shoes Are Not the Solution
It is much more effective to fix a knee problem starting from the inside as you move out. Therefore, one way to do that is to adopt the correct running practice, instead of going for lined shoes as they can cause your knee problem to worsen. Athletic shoes are often the best choice in this case.
Look for neutral athletic shoes with a low profile, as they will help you maintain a shorter stride. In addition, less impact will travel to the knees. Moreover,let your knees learn to accommodate the change so that you won’t feel pain as you run.
Find a Smoother Training Surface
If you are used to a smooth training surface, there is no need to change to rougher terrain. Sometimes, changing terrains can cause knee joint pain and other knee problems because you will be subjecting your feet to a surface they are not used to.
For instance, if you have not done hills before, changing to an off-road terrain will cause too much stress on the knees. However, if you must change, give your body enough time to adjust.
Use Anti-Inflammatory Remedies
Corrective bio mechanics does not work for everyone. Some runners don’t find immediate relief when they undergo changing their running style.
Therefore, if you find it impossible to continue with your normal routine, the other option is to try anti-inflammatory medication like Advil. If pills aren't your thing then try a topical cream like Penetrex or Biofreeze.
This remedy suits runners who are preparing for an upcoming race and have no time to learn new ways to make strides without feeling pain.
However, if your knee pain persists then you should consult a qualified physician because anti-inflammatory remedies only provide temporary relief and could be masking a more serious problem.
They simply help you feel less pain so that you can perform at near optimum level. If nothing else works, find time after the race to address this problem permanently.
Looking after the knees is a priority especially for those who people who have a passion for running. To reduce knee pain from running and the risk of runner's knee overall, try to lower the amount of torque due to splaying as well as the impact reaching your knees.
If you are working on your running form, these two are the most important areas to address. That way, you will be able to have healthy knees and keep running for a long time.