S To Improve Your Running Form
Step 1: Look down. Are your feet pointing in the direction you are running? If not, focus on straightening them out. Splayed feet put unnecessary strain on your knee joints when you run.
Step 2: Keep your knees slightly bent and relaxed. Let them bounce as you run. Be careful not to straighten your legs, overstride, and land on your heels.
Step 3: Lean your whole body slightly forward starting at the ankles and keep your spine straight up to the top of your head. Imagine a straight line going up your spine to the top of your skull.
Step 4: Bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle and pull them back behind you to propel yourself forward. Keep your arms active and your fists loose.
Step 5: Tuck your chin in slightly and look straight ahead of you. Keep your neck long, your shoulders loose, relax your face muscles, and enjoy the strength and grace of your body.
If youre just getting into running, start slowly. Gradually increase your distance and allow your body time to recover on rest days. Dont overdo it.
Prevent Knee Pain From Running 4 Lean Forward
If your knees are in pain while running, it could be that you need to change your formmore specifically, your trunk position.
In fact, according to this research paper published in Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise, an increased trunk flexion may decrease compressive forces on the patellofemoral joint.
In English: a slight forward lean while running reduces the load placed on the knees, which, in turn, cuts the risks of discomfort and injury at the joint.
Opting for a slight forward lean while running may help shift your weight from the knees to the hip, thus reducing impact forces on the knees.
That said, getting the slight forward lean right is a bit tricky.
Here is how to do it right:
Make sure that the lean, or the fall, is coming from the ankles, not the hips.
It should feel almost like youre falling forward.
You should not feel broke nor bent at the trunk.
Allow your torso to come a bit forwardat least seven to ten degrees, according to the before mentioned researchwhile simultaneously flexing your hips and lower abdominals subtly.
In other words, opt for a mild lean, not a complete bent-over position.
Think skiers stance.
Here is an awesome YouTube Tutorial
Warm Up Before Exercise
Exercising at a high intensity without adequately preparing your body for the work invites injury, especially to vulnerable joints like the knees. Spend five to 10 minutes warming your body up whether youre planning to walk a brisk mile, run a 5K, or lift some heavy weights.
A warm-up starts modestly. If you plan to power walk, for example, spend a few minutes strolling and then pick up your pace gradually over the course of five minutes to full speed.
A workout that involves weight training includes about five minutes of cardio, such as marching in place or riding a stationary bicycle, and a couple of minutes of body-weight dynamic movements, such as squats, high knee raises, and side lunges.
A warm-up increases circulation and range of motion, which prepares your joints for the rigors of your workout session.
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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!
Protect Your Knees While Running
While running is one of the best ways you can gradually train your body and potentially get into the best shape of your life, it comes with some caveats that you must keep in mind. One of the most common injuries that occur amongst runners is some type of knee injury, i.e. runners knee, and even the most benign twinges in the knees can be a sign of painful things to come. Fortunately, there are simple tactics you can take to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.
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Knee Stretches And Strengthening Exercises
While knee supports will help to relieve pain and offer greater comfort, they dont directly address the problem. To improve your knee health long-term, its important to strengthen the surrounding areas.
Many knee issues are caused by weaknesses elsewhere, which introduce instability further down the legs. Hips and glutes are particularly guilty of leading to knee issues, while tight hamstrings also shift the impact of running to the knees.
For improved knee health, try focusing strength training on these other parts of the legs. Runners knee stretches are also important to keep your knees in good shape, and there are a variety of exercises that will help to strengthen all the relevant muscles.
How To Handle Knee Pain
Despite your best efforts, you may still end up with knee pain. If you do, the first course of action is to reduce swelling and discomfort, and that can typically be accomplished with the RICE method, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Furthermore, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, can also help ease the pain.
If your pain persists, come see us. Our pain and rehab team can show you some healing exercises that will strengthen your joints. For severe pain, we offer joint and steroid injections.
If your knees are hurting, we can help relieve your pain. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center today.
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How Can I Prevent Runner’s Knee
- Keep your thigh muscles strong and limber with regular exercise.
- Use shoe inserts if you have problems that may lead to runner’s knee.
- Make sure your shoes have enough support.
- Try not to run on hard surfaces, like concrete.
- Stay in shape and keep a healthy weight.
- Warm up before you work out.
- Donât make sudden workout changes like adding squats or lunges. Add intense moves slowly.
- Ask your doctor if you should see a physical therapist.
- If your doctor or physical therapist suggests it. Try a knee brace when you work out.
- Wear quality running shoes.
- Get a new pair of running shoes once yours lose their shape or the sole becomes worn or irregular.
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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Is Running Bad For My Knees
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!
Ways To Avoid Knee Injuries While Running
Whether you’re training for a marathon or enjoying a daily jog, running may be a good way to maintain good health. But its hard on the joints, especially the knees.
As many as 70 percent of runners may experience knee injuries at some point in their lives, according to Dr. Kevin Plancher, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist.
And spring is one of the most common times of the year for running injuries to take hold.
We see a lot of runners with injuries in the springtime and its not because they did anything wrong, said Plancher, who owns Plancher Orthopedics and Sports Medicine with offices in New York City and Greenwich, Conn. Runners get so excited once the warm weather hits that they go out and start running without stretching and without replacing their shoes from last year. And injuries can occur in runners whether theyre 20 or 40 or 60 years old.
The most common knee injuries are patello-femoral pain, also known as runners knee, and iliotibial band syndrome.
Runner’s knee occurs when the kneecap rubs against the bottom of the thighbone, and can result in irritation and erosion of cartilage, Plancher said. ITB syndrome involves irritation to the band of tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh, which can become irritated from repetitive rubbing over the outside of the knee.
There are ways to prevent knee injuries, however.
Here are some tips on how to prevent knee injuries:
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Why Does My Knee Ache
Probable causes of the pain
Form FlawsWilly says hip adduction when the thigh moves inward from the hip mid-stride, causing a knock-kneed effect is one of the most common sources of biomechanical-related knee pain. Overstriding is another.
Unknown Factors Pain is something researchers are still working to understand better, says Willy, adding that joint-related pain seems to be individual. Two runners with the same biomechanics can go through the same training programme, and one gets injured but the other doesnt, he says. We really dont know exactly why that happens. He says that variables such as sleep quality, nutrition, and even psychosocial factors such as fear of getting injured may contribute.
Take Time For A Warmup
Regardless of what exercise you prefer, its important to start with warmups and easy stretches to prep your muscles and joints for more intense movements. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds, remembering to breathe. Exercising with stiff muscles can cause joint pain or worsen existing conditions.
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Tips To Protect Your Knees As You Age
Your knees bear a lot of weight as well as a large responsibility for your ability to effectively get around. They also contain a lot of moving parts, from ligaments and cartilage to muscles and bones, that can become damaged either from injury or the natural wear and tear of age, making it difficult to stay active and enjoy everything life has to offer.
Fortunately, Dr. Struan Coleman is an expert in preventive joint care and offers the following tips to help you protect your knee joints as you age:
Eliminate The Two Main Causes Of Injury
Running injuries dont have to happen. In fact, theyre most often a result of either overuse or impact.Overuse injuries are caused by using your muscles incorrectly or beyond their capacity.Impact injuries come from over-striding or heel striking, which in essence produce a repetitive braking motion with every stride.
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How To Run Without Damaging Your Knees
Knees are the most frequently injured body part for runners, but contrary to popular belief running itself is not actually bad for this particularly susceptible joint. A number of studies have found no evidence that running damages the knee, with regular exercise actually helping to protect the knee joint.
So why is runners knee such a common problem? Most knee issues are actually caused by things going wrong elsewhere in the body, particularly the upper and lower parts of the legs, as well as your feet.
Running without damaging your knees is about ensuring that your knees are well supported, and that the rest of your body is working properly. Here are some tips on how to run without damaging your knees:
What Causes Knee Pain While Running
To maintain pain-free knees, the muscles from your core down to your ankles need to work in sync to support your joints. But if these muscles are too weak to keep your hips and ankles in their proper place, the pain will centralize at your knees. So, unfortunately, whether or not youre hit with runners knee is pretty much out of your hands, since it depends on how youre built.
Naturally weak or under-active hips, for example, will cause your knees to collapse toward each other during any activity where weight is carried through the leg. And if your core isnt strong enough to keep your hips steady, your knees will be forced to do the hard work of stabilizing your body. Cue pain.
And the sour cherry on top, says Carter, is that the lower limb misalignments that cause runners knee painwide-set pelvises, out-turned thighsare more common in female bodies.
Now, before you go cursing your knees , you should note runners knee is common and treatable.
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So How Do I Make Knee Pain Go Away
Get VERY friendly with stretching and strengthening because theyre both going to become big parts of your life if you want to cut runners knee off at thewell, knees.
Recovering from runners knee is about “retraining the way that you move” and coming up with modifications that will allow you to go easy on your knees, says Meghan Cass, DPT, a physical therapist in Columbus, Ohio. And the best way to do that is with physical therapy.
Once a therapist has pinpointed the aggravating factorlike stiff ankles or the intensity of your exercise regimenshe can create a rehabilitative routine, says Cass. This might include modifying where you run or how deeply you lunge and squat.
You’ll also do moves that will strengthen your core and your inner thighs, or stretch your calves, in an effort to better position your knee for physical activity. A PT might also encourage you to mix different types of workouts into your regular routine, says Carter, such as yoga or swimming to replace a running or squatting session.
These methods wont act like vaccines though, Carter warns. Youll need continuous doses of knee-strengthening exercises to keep the pain from coming back.
And extra TLC, like icing the knee for 20 minutes, might also help, says Cass.
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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Does Running Increase Your Risk Of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis , also called degenerative joint disease, affects millions of people around the world. It occurs as the cartilage that cushions your joints gradually degenerates over time. Degenerative joint disease can be caused by injury, but most often is part of the aging process and symptoms sometimes show up after the age of 50. Typical symptoms of osteoarthritis are stiff, sore joints and/or swelling around the affected areas.
While many people believe that the impact of running on your knees and hips will contribute to cartilage damage, research shows that the reduction in BMI resulting from running has a positive effect on joint health.
Dont Seek Salvation In A Bottle
Theres no high-quality evidence that supplements, including glucosamine and chondroitin, make any difference, according to both Dr. Roos and Dr. Whittaker though they dont appear to be harmful either.
If youre OK paying for it, and you want to take it because you think its doing something to preserve your joint, not a problem, Dr. Whittaker said. But in addition, can you please also be doing some cyclical weight-bearing activity and so on?
There is one intriguing possible exception. A small 2011 study by researchers at Tufts Medical Center found that cartilage quality in the knee improved after six months of taking 10 grams of collagen daily. More recently, Dr. Baars research on lab-grown ligaments, which, like cartilage, are primarily made of collagen, also supports the idea that consuming collagen before exercise can trigger new collagen synthesis in the body. But for now, the real-world benefits of this approach remain unproven.
To Dr. Whittaker, the most important priority remains debunking the notion that you should stop being active as soon as you notice knee pain. Staying active, strengthening the muscles around the joint and developing good movement patterns can alter, and in some cases reverse, the trajectory, she said. A lot of people think that osteoarthritis is just a normal consequence of aging, right? Its not inevitable. Theres a lot you can control.
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