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How To Protect Knees While Running

Prevent Knee Pain From Running 1 Wear The Right Shoes

5 Ways for Runners to Protect Their Knees

The foot is a very complex part of the human anatomy.

Its made up of 19 muscles, 26 bones, 107 ligaments, and 33 jointsand these take the brunt of a foot strike when running.

Since running is a high impact sport that places a great deal of stress on the knees, wearing the right trainers not only helps you to run faster and longer, but may also reduce risks of pain and injury.

A good running shoe is designed specifically to diffuse the load shooting up the rest of your leg.

Just dont get me wrong.

Im not suggesting that proper shoes are the ultimate solution to your knee issues.

But its a start, and an important part of an overall prevention and treatment and plan.

That said, I should also point outand this may surprise some of youthat the current research on the effectiveness of running shoes in improving performance and preventing overuse injury is, at best, mixed.

This link provides you with more insight on the subject at hand.

Yet, in my experience, a proper pair is non-negotiableregardless.

Therefore, to stay safe, you got to find a shoe that fits your feet properly.

More importantly, go for a pair that supports your natural foot typewhether youre neutral, high arched , or flat-footed runner.

To find a suitable pair, head to your local running store and ask for a foot type and gait analysis, which will help you find what best matches your physiological and training needs.

Also, be sure to replace your trainers regularly.

Strength training is good for you.

Strengthen With Your Body Weight

After your walk or jog, your muscles will likely be warm enough to jump into slightly more intense activity. Work at strengthening the muscles surrounding your knee joint with body-weight exercises like lunges and squats. Try any combination of the following:

  • 10 forward and 10 backward walking lunges
  • 15 sumo squats
  • 15 squats with feet shoulder-width apart
  • 15 squats with feet together
  • 10 side lunges, each side

Beware The Weekend Warrior Effect

Of course, no workout takes place in a vacuum: What your knees can handle today depends on what youve been doing with them over the preceding weeks and months. Thats why the arrival of ski season is a source of predictable carnage for physical therapists, as enthusiastic weekend warriors hit the slopes after months of inactivity.

Dr. Whittaker suggested taking the first day on the slopes easy and being willing to cut subsequent days short when it feels like your leg muscles or joints have had enough. Its pacing, she said. Its adapting to the capacity of your body to handle the load.

Better yet, she strongly suggested doing some strength training to prepare your legs before putting any new stresses on them. A simple, generic program of squats and lunges can strengthen the muscles that keep the knee stable and stiffen the tendons and ligaments around the joint. For starters, aim for three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, lifting a weight that leaves you with shaky muscles and the feeling that you could have done two or three more reps if necessary.

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Running Shoes For Joint Support

Choosing the right shoes as a beginner runner can seem overwhelming. There are several factors to consider when making the decision, including your arches, pronation, and where you run. Read through our tips on choosing the right shoe.

Look for a moderately cushioned shoe with medium stability to allow you to feel connected to the surface youre running on while also giving you adequate cushioning to absorb the pounding on your joints.

The barefoot running school of thought argues that the artificial cushioning and stability of conventional running shoes makes your body unlearn how to run naturally. By running barefoot or in minimalist shoes, you enhance foot strength and improve running economy. If you decide to give barefoot running a try, start slowly, land softly, and take good care of your feet.

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Treat Hip Joint Innflamation

Knee Pain: How to Prevent Knee Pain When Running

Awareness of proper movement will help treat and prevent the sharp sensation at your hip that extends down your thigh.Loosen your hips and pelvis and learn how to take impact off your hip joints.Develop the ability to physically sense whats happening in your body and to respond with your bodys intelligence.

See What Others are Saying

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Is Running Bad For Your Knees

Running is not bad for your knees running with poor form is bad for your knees.

In fact, most knee injuries caused by running are overuse injuries, meaning youre putting more stress on your body than it can handle.

Whether thats ramping up your training schedule too quickly or not resting enough between runs, running too many miles before your muscles, bones, joints, and cartilage are ready for more can increase your risk of injury.


Running itself is not bad for your knees. However, other factors, such as running with bad form and running too much, can cause knee pain or injury.

1 ).

One study followed a group of long-distance runners, as well as a nonrunner control group, for 18 years. Through a series of X-rays over the nearly two decades, researchers monitored for any presence of osteoarthritis in the knees.

The study results showed that running among healthy older adults was not associated with more prevalent osteoarthritis. In fact, at the end of the study, 20% of the runners showed signs of osteoarthritis, compared with 32% of the nonrunners .

Another study suggests that running may be beneficial for the knees.

Researchers used gait analysis and computer modeling to confirm that running does place a higher load on the knees than walking. Yet, it also causes the bone and cartilage of the knee to adapt, potentially leading to stronger knees overall .

What Your Knees Need

They’re more prone to injury than any other part of a runner’s body. But if you know how they work–and how to take care of them–they won’t let you down.

  • Ice the knee and surrounding tissues several times a day.
  • Wrap the knee with elastic tape, and elevate it as much as you can.
  • Take antiinflammatories for a week to ease the pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Try glucosamine or glucosamine-chondroitin supplements for possible cartilage repair. You’ll probably have to take them for at least a month to notice any results.
  • Stay fit with cross-training activities , but only if they don’t hurt your knee.
  • When your knee pain is gone, begin a gentle, progressive stretching and strengthening program. Don’t do this at the outset, when you are first injured. Wait until you have the pain and inflammation under control.
  • Return to your training program with brisk walking, and then run/walk intervals.
  • Build mileage and pace very gradually. Avoid hills for a month if possible.

It’s a beguiling notion–the idea that a simple nutritional supplement can reduce knee pain and possibly even rebuild cartilage. So beguiling that sales of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements reached $250 million in 2001, and are still zooming upward. These sales have been fueled partly by positive word-of-mouth among runners, and–best of all–cautiously positive research results.

–Amby Burfoot

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Kneecap To Shinbone Pain: Jumper’s Knee

Pain from the top of the kneecap to the top of the shinbone may be an indication of patellar tendinitis, a common overuse injury. The condition is also called jumper’s knee because it is common in sports that involve jumping.

Those who have jumper’s knee feel pain, tenderness, and possibly swelling near the patellar tendon . When the condition is in its early stages, you might only notice it when running. As it gets worse, however, you’ll notice it throughout the day, even when you are not exercising.

Replace Your Running Shoes Regularly

Knee Pain When Running? | How To Avoid Runner’s Knee

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.

Free Rehab Guide

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Increase Your Running Mileage Slowly

Patellofemoral pain and Iliotibial Band Syndrome are both overuse injuries, just like most other running injuries. We can talk about the biomechanical factors and importance of running in the correct footwear, but even the strongest, best equipped runner will get injured if they push themselves too hard.

Put simply if your weekly running training load outweighs your bodys capacity to recover and repair between runs, youre setting yourself up for an overuse injury.

Knee pain is a common symptom that runners experience when they begin to do too much running, too soon.

Heres an article which really explains the importance of training load management in treating Runners Knee.

The article linked above proposes a better alternative to the classic 10% rule which is often suggested. But when it comes to progressing your training, one of the mistakes I see runners making is that they embark on a marathon training plan, without doing the preparatory work to get their weekly mileage and long run duration up to a point where starting the marathon plan doesnt feel like a big jump.

The worst is when people leave it a little later than ideal to start their marathon training plan, and end up panic training, effectively trying to make up for lost time, and progressing their long runs and weekly mileage too quickly.

Give your body time to adapt to the demands you place upon it when running!

Side Knee Pain: It Band Syndrome

If you feel a sharp, stabbing pain on the outside of your knee, you may be dealing with iliotibial band syndrome , a very common injury among runners. The iliotibial band is a band of tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh, from the tensor fasciae latae where it attaches at the top of the hip to the outside of the knee. It helps to stabilize the knee and hip when you run.

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How To Protect Your Knees While Running

1. Stretching Exercises before Beginning Any Run:-

Famous marathon runner Mr. Jitender Bangar from Gurgaon advises that we should perform stretching exercises before beginning any run as it facilitates our body joints to prepare them for a long run. Besides this, you should keep your speed slow in the beginning while you should increase it when the end of the marathon is near. Some people make a blunder of increasing their speed to top level at their first kilometer run but soon their knees leave their company and thus they have to slow down in order to sit somewhere. It is advised that you keep your speed slow during first several kilometers, so that you may increase it when your legs gain equilibrium.

2. Use Knee Protection Bands:-

Besides this, If you will look at the running/playing protection products available on several online as well as offline sports stores, you will find that cotton knee bands are also available on such shopping places. You can purchase knee protection band and other such protection stuff for yourself to use them while playing or running to safeguard your knee.

3. Consume Calcium and Protein Health Supplements:-

Besides this, you should take enough calcium in your diet to keep your knee joints healthy. Cheese, Milk, egg yolk, yoghurt etc. can prove to be the best consumable in this direction. You can also take protein supplements to build about your muscles, but this should be done only after consulting it with a good dietician.

Is Running Bad For My Knees

How To Protect Your Knees While Running?

If you are a regular runner, no doubt someone at some point has said to you that running is bad for your knees. More than likely, it was a non-runner. But there is plenty of evidence to say that the benefits of running far outweigh the risks, and that includes the effect on your knees.

Running is certainly not for everyone, but it is one of the most popular exercise activities and has many associated health benefits. It is a simple, low cost form of exercise that requires little equipment other than a good quality pair of running shoes and appropriate clothing. It is time efficient, easily fitting into a busy schedule, and can be very liberating. Speak to an avid runner and they will likely tell you that life would not be worth living without it.

When people say that running is bad for your knees, they are generally referring to its potential role in the development of OA . Running is often considered a cause of knee OA, both by the public and some healthcare practitioners. For the keen runner, this might be a cause for concern. However, it might actually be the case that knee OA is more common in non-runners!

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How Can You Make Your Knees Stronger For Running

Bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges are great for strengthening the major muscle groups around your knees, to make your knees stronger for running. Single leg exercises that work your glutes and challenge your balance will also help to protect your knees.

I cant believe Ive made it this far into the article without talking specifically about exercises to strengthen your knees for running.

As I described in the warm up section above, its vital to work on stability of the joints above and below the your knees, to allow you to maintain proper knee alignment and control as you run.

That said, you also need to strengthen the muscle groups that cross the knee it self and influence the patellofemoral joint. So we definitely also need to strengthen your quads, hamstrings, adductors and calf muscles!

Heres a great selection of exercises you can use to strengthen your knees to prevent knee pain when running:

Increase Your Running Cadence

Sticking with the topic of running technique one aspect of how you run that has been researched more thoroughly is running cadence.

Running cadence, or your stride frequency, is simply how many strides per minute you make.

Its well accepted now that running with shorter, quicker strides for a given pace, is better for your knees than running at the same pace with longer, comparatively slower strides.

An increase in your running cadence as small as 5% can provide enough of a biomechanical change to your running form, that your knees experience quantifiably less loading with each stride.

One last word on running cadence, before I move on. Youll often see it suggested that the ideal running cadence is 180 strides per minute, regardless of what type of runner you are, or pace you run at.

I have real issues with this advice, especially when running at an easy long run pace!

Check out this video for a proper explanation for why 180 strides per minute isnt a one side fits all number for best running cadence

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What To Do If Your Knees Hurt When Running

If your knees hurt when running, try these eight pro tips to heal faster .

1. Get fitted for the right shoes.

“The foot is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles, and 107 ligaments, and these take the brunt of the pounding with each step of the day,” explains Pamela Kopfensteiner, D.P.T., physical therapist at Professional Physical Therapy in New Jersey. You need running shoes that support your natural construction-high arches, pronation, supination-and diffuse the impact shooting up the rest of your leg. Hit your local running store and ask for a gait analysis, which will tell you exactly what support you need, Kopfensteiner suggests.

2. Strengthen your hips and core.

You’ve probably heard by now that even if you’re a runner, you should be strength training . But there are certain areas to pay special attention to when it comes to preventing knee pain. A study of 400 healthy female runners published in Medicine & Science in Exercise & Sports found that, over two years, women who developed runner’s knee had much greater pelvic instabilitythat is, weakness in their hipscompared to runners who didn’t experience knee issues. Meanwhile, a study in the Journal of Athletic Training found that almost 80 percent of aching runners who strength trained with a focus on their hips and core or knees and thighs reported their knees hurt when running significantly less after just three or four weeks of lifting.

3. Don’t rush training.

4. Train off-road.

5. Lean forward.


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