More Injury Prevention Tips For Runners:
Hip And Knee Doctor
Monday 25th of January 2021
Runners knee is one of the most common running injuries. This post is very helpful for all those suffering from knee related problems by listing various knee exercises like straight leg raises,fire hydrants and donkey kickbacks – superb exercises!Thank you for sharing such great stuff with us.
Relief For Runners Knee
All the best-laid plans, right? If you find yourself, despite your efforts to prevent runners knee, suffering from debilitating pain in one or both knees, the first thing to do is to stop doing the activities that cause pain and make the condition worse. Your doctor may also recommend a course of action called RICE.
Knee Exercises For Runners
These knee-strengthening exercises will help with your running, strengthen the muscles around the knee and prevent knee pain.
The exercises strengthen all the muscles supporting the knee and stretch out the iliotibial band, known as the ITB, which runs down the outside of the thigh.
They can be done as part of your warm-up before a run or as a cool-down routine after a run, outside or indoors, or whenever is most convenient.
Typically, you should start to see some benefits after 2 weeks of doing these knee exercises every day.
You should not feel any pain when doing these exercises. If you do, stop immediately and seek medical advice. These exercises are not suitable for people with an existing knee injury.
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How To Prevent Runners Knee Is Your Knee Cap Giving You Trouble On Your Morning Run You May Have Runners Knee Discover What Causes Runners Knee And How You Can Avoid It All Together
Patellofemoral pain syndrome also known as runners knee is the most common injury experienced by runners. It accounts for approximately 20 percent of all running injuries.
However, runners knee affects more people that just runners. If you regularly carry out activities where you bend your knees a lot, such as walking or bike riding, you too can be affected.
How to Identify Runners Knee
If you have runners knee you will likely feel pain under, slightly above or below your kneecap. The pain usually feels worse when you run, walk or cycle up or down hill. You might also hear an unsettling popping or cracking noise when exercising as well.
According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Runner’s knee mostly affects younger runners and twice as many women as men.
Why Do You Experience Knee Pain After Running?
Identifying the exact cause of patellofemoral pain syndrome is tricky. For some people it could be an abnormal knee structure, and for others it could be due to worn down cartilage in the knee joint.
Tight leg muscles, poor running form and a weak core can also put pressure on your knee and cause your patella to move out of alignment.
The best news about runners knee is that its relatively harmless.
Preventing Runners Knee
To help prevent runner’s knee follow these simple tips:
Know When To Take It Easy
Maybe you tweaked your knee again or feel it acting up? Learn to take your training down a notch.
When youre trying to treat runners knee you must know when to take it easy. Because pushing it too hard when injured doesnt do you any good.
So take a deep breath and dial back the miles, or the intensity, or the speed, or all 3 of those, and let your body heal.
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Warm Up And Cool Down Properly
Running with tight muscles is one cause of runners knee.
To make sure your body is properly warmed up, do a 5-minute series of dynamic stretches or walking.
This gets the blood flowing and warms up the muscles so theyre ready for the movements and impact running requires.
Then, after your run, stretch it out!
Static stretching keeps the muscles from tightening up too.
Attacking tight muscles before and after running helps prevent runners knee.
Bonus tip: Add some foam rolling in too and youll improve your chances of avoiding tight muscles even more!
Have Knee Pain Or Injury Now Learn To Rice First
Image credit: Verywellhealth.com
R.I.C.E. is a common acronym among athletes with injuries and stands for: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
Runners follow this advice for many muscle-related injuries .
Rest: Stop running. Rest for a few days, or even weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. Do not start up again too soon or you risk re-injuring yourself. Proper healing is important to runners knee recovery!
Ice: My Physical Therapist generally recommends icing for 24-48 hours after the injury. Icing reduces muscle and tissue inflammation by reducing blood flow. Place a bag of ice onto the knee for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. After 24-48 hours, some professionals say to switch to heat it increases blood flow again to start healing the torn and bruised muscle and tissues.
Compression: Use a compression bandage or wear a compression knee brace. Again, this is to reduce and prevent swelling in the knee. Use caution though dont wrap the knee too tightly.
Elevation: For the first day or so after the injury, prop your leg up to elevate it higher than your heart to further reduce the swelling. Elevating the injury is best kept to the day of the injury .
Its always better to rest an injury before getting back out there. Runners knee is no exception.
Now lets talk about how to prevent runners knee from happening in the first place.
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Replace Your Running Shoes Regularly
I mentioned the importance of running shoes earlier in this article, and the right pair of running shoes really can help you to prevent knee pain when running.
However, one mistake I see runners making all too often is that they dont replace their running shoes frequently enough.
As a pair of running shoes begins to clock-up the miles, the degree of support and cushioning that they offer your feel begins to change. You simply wont get the same support or cushioning from an old pair of running shoes, that you did when they were new.
Many running shoe brands suggest that you replace your running shoes after approximately 500 miles. Ive always thought that this is a disappointingly short lifespan for a pair of running shoes, but I guess thats just how theyre made these days!
Practically speaking, Ive come to understand that some runners are more sensitive to whats on their feet than others.
In saying that I mean that some runners can seemingly run in all sorts of running shoes, new and old, and never get injured. Others however, seem to almost immediately get injured as soon as they make a slight change to their running shoes.
If you identify as a less footwear sensitive type of runner, then you may well get a little more life out of your running shoes.
But if youve been suffering with knee pain when running, and your shoes are getting towards that 500 mile mark, it would be worth replacing them.
What Happens If Runners Knee Goes Untreated
Learning how to prevent runners knee problem is critical. It helps address health fatalities such as arthritis, which develops if the runners knee problem is not treated.
If untreated, the runners knee begins popping or producing a cracking sensation in the knee, and it damages the cartilage of the knee in extreme untreated periods.
Also, not getting treatment leads to the complete dislocation of the kneecap.
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Useful Tips For Avoiding Runners Knee
A study by the BC Sports Medicine Foundation discovered that knee injuries accounted for three of the five most common types of running injuries. Most are thought to be caused by overuse, while further research traced knee injuries to weakness or lack of stability, particularly in the hips.
Among the most common knee injuries researchers found is the aptly-named runners knee. Runners knee, medically called patellofemoral pain syndrome, causes pain at the front of the knee. Normally, when you bend your knees, your knee joint allows the patella to slide smoothly along the femoral groove. A thick layer of cartilage cushions the end of the femur so the patella can track fluidly. However, problems may occur when tight leg muscles or other forces cause the patella to track unevenly resulting in deterioration of the cartilage. Because the patella cannot move smoothly against bone, discomfort or pain occurs.
To minimize the risk of sustaining a knee injury, take care of your leg muscles and follow the right stretching, strengthening, and support techniques.
1. Make Time for Warming Up and Stretching
Warming up and light stretching before and deeper stretching after your run can prevent your leg muscles from getting too stiff. Stretching also improves your flexibility, which can increase your range of motion. If you already have knee pain, post-run stretching can also help to combat soreness and boost recovery.
2. Incorporate Strength Training Into Your Routine
Can Shoe Inserts Help
Shoe inserts can be used if the feet lean too far sideways. They probably help in some people, at least in the short term. But theres hardly any research on the pros and cons of shoe inserts. The possible side effects include blisters and pain in the arch of the foot. Some specialists recommend that shoe inserts should only be used in addition to strengthening exercises to stabilize the knee.
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What Are The Main Causes Of Runners Knee
One of the main risk factors with runners knee is overuse.
Activities like running and cycling that put a lot of strain on the front of the knee are more likely to cause runners knee.
Overuse is more likely to occur if you run too much or you take sudden jumps in your training.
Another common cause of runners knee is abnormalities above and below the knee cap.
This means the knee has to cope with a lot more weight and pressure, which causes it to malfunction and thus cause the pain.
Here are common causes of runners knee:
When Will My Knee Feel Better
People heal at different rates. Your recovery time depends on your body and your injury.
While you get better, you need to take it easy on your knee. That doesnât mean you have to give up exercise. Just try something new that won’t hurt your joint. If you’re a jogger, swim laps in a pool instead.
Whatever you do, don’t rush things. If you try to get back to your workouts before youâre healed, you could damage the joint for good. Don’t return to your old level of physical activity until:
- You can fully bend and straighten your knee without pain.
- You feel no pain in your knee when you walk, jog, sprint, or jump.
- Your knee is as strong as your uninjured knee.
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In Summary Knee Pain Doesnt Mean The End Of Your Running Career
I hope this post highlights that you can do things to prevent and treat runners knee!
Dont give up.
And above all else when in doubt, see a professional.
Visiting my physical therapist was the BEST thing Ive ever done for running. Hes helped me through various injuries and pains.
There is help, and there is hope dont let knee pain ruin your running fun!
Want some help preventing running injuries?
Couch To 5k Running Plan
New to running? Couch to 5K gets you off the sofa and running in just 9 weeks.
The One You Couch to 5K app gives you a choice of running coaches and helps you track your progress.
As well as Laura, who features on the NHS Couch to 5K podcasts, you can also be coached by celebrities Jo Whiley, Sarah Millican, Sanjeev Kohli or Michael Johnson.
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The Top Seven Ways To Treat Your Runners Knee
Thankfully, there are a lot of things you can do to get some relief from the pain while your knee heals. For many people, these strategies will also speed up recovery times, so they can get back to their regular workout schedule sooner. So lets find out what is the fastest way to heal runners knee?
#1 Rest the knee.
First and foremost, you must rest your knee so that it can heal. Can I run on runners knee? Avoid doing any type of activity that causes pain. That means no running, no lunges, no squats, and no standing for extended amounts of time. Sometimes, even sitting for a long time can make it hurt worse. Whatever the activity is, if it causes pain, dont do it until the injury is completely healed!
#2 Ice is your friend.
Ice is a great way to treat pretty much any sports-related injury. It can help to reduce the swelling and inflammation thats causing the pain. Reducing inflammation will also help the injury to heal faster. Try icing your new for about 20 minutes at a time, every three hours or so, until the pain is completely gone.
#3 Provide some support.
Providing some support for your knee can really help to provide some relief for the pain, and it may even help it heal faster. Try wrapping your knee with an elastic bandage or wearing a knee brace to give it some extra support.
#4 Elevate your knee.
#5 Wear arch supports.
#6 Give acupuncture a try.
#7 Surgery should be a last resort.
What Is Runner’s Knee
A term used to describe a number of knee issues, runner’s knee often occurs because of an increase in mileage. While some harriers will experience sporadic pain, others have problems nearly every time they add miles. The condition can also be related to poor running form and core strength.
The pain occurs when the patella, or knee cap, rubs against the lower attachment of the femur, usually because the patella is out of alignment. Its also possible, but less common, that the cartilage that normally lies beneath the knee cap has worn down.
“A lot of these injuries result from motion or mobility problems in the hip or low back,” explains Dr. Aaron LeBauer, a physical therapist based in Greensboro, North Carolina. “Or it can be an instability issue because of lack of core engagement. If you have an imbalance that causes the leg to be unstable, it may be a hip control issue.”
Indeed, strength and mobility imbalances will have a greater effect on the body over increased mileage, resulting in issues like runner’s knee. The dilemma is you often won’t know you have these imbalances until your knee starts to nag you. At this point, it becomes important to back off and identify where the injury originated.
“The biggest problem is that people don’t listen to their bodies and they run through pain,” says LeBauer. “Running through sharp, shooting pain just makes the issue worse end up in my office because they keep running rather than resting or seeking treatment earlier.”
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Gradual Increase Of Workout Intensity
If you are used to doing one mile and want to go farther, it is all right. However, the tracks rule is to keep the knee safe, add the distance slightly and gradually so as not to stress the patella so much.
A gradual increase in distance is what will unlock your potential to cover bigger distances with no runners knee issues.
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How Is Runners Knee Treated
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
How old you are
Your overall health and health history
How much pain you have
How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
How long the condition is expected to last
Your opinion or preference
The best course of treatment for runner’s knee is to stop running until you can run again without pain. Other treatment may include:
Use A Knee Brace If You Have Had Runners Knee Before
The use of a knee brace has, according to research is a major tactic on how to prevent runners knee.
Band bracing or a strap are both designed to ensure that the kneecap is relaxed and comfortable. They keep the knee in the right position.
The band brace deflates the pressure on the knee, which, in turn, does away with the pain likely to be experienced in this area.
Straps can be worn when running or cycling.
Prevent Knee Pain From Running 3 Eat Right
When dealing with knee pain, dont overlook the power of diet.
As a runner, youll need the right nutrients and substances to help protect your cells from damage and maintain healthy joints.
For starters, get plenty of calcium.
Most experts recommend 1,100 to 1,300 mg of this mineral each day.
Dairy products and dark green veggies are some of the ideal sources of calcium.
Here is the full guide to calcium foods.
Another nutrient is omega-3 fatty acids.
These fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatories that can help ease joint inflammation before it damages the joints.
The best sources of omega-3s include salmon, herring, tuna, cod, sardines, and mackerel, as well as fish oil supplements.
Furthermore, you might need to supplement.
Many athletes take Chondroitin sulfate and Glucosamine supplements to deal with joint pain since its believed that these encourage cartilage formation and repair.
However, the research is still mixed on the effectiveness of the supplements, so consult a certified physician if it can be helpful to your case.
Most experts recommend a minimum dosage of 1,200 mg of Chondroitin sulfate and 1,500 mg of Glucosamine daily.
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