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How runners can conquer chronic knee pain

It is quite common for runners to suffer from knee pain as there is a lot of physical stress and pressure exerted on the knees while running. Besides running there are other several causes that lead to knee pain, however, running further aggravates the problem. Runners normally experience chronic knee pain due to the continuous movement and regular impact caused on the knees. The pain starts slowly and gradually worsens with time. To conquer knee pain, it is necessary to know the root cause of the problem and take effective measures to conquer it.
Here are a few causes that cause knee pain in runners, the problems associated with it and how to effectively prevent it.
Knee pain in runners is due to several factors that are classified into two groups

  1. Mistakes during training sessions like increased intensity or increased time during workout.
  2. Issues caused due to biomechanical reasons like muscle weakness or flat feet.

Mistakes during training sessions:  

  1. During the initial phases of training it is quite common for people to get excited and do a lot of quick leg workout.
  2. Sudden increase in your workout time, the speed and the distance due to an upcoming event or a competition.
  3. Any kind of change implemented in your running style like changing the running surface from soft to tar or changing from flat to elevated or sloping surface.
  4. Avoiding stretching and strengthening exercise while focusing only on running can trigger knee pain.

Biomechanical problems that are since birth like flat foot, high arches, over-supinated foot and over-pronated foot or weak leg muscles can cause knee pain in runners. Incorrect foot formation does not align the weight of the body perfectly and hence to balance the body, the runner exerts stress on his knees causing the knee pain.
Preventative measures:

  • Build up your training gradually. The 10% rule is a good thumb rule to follow where you need to increase your training by 10% every week, whether it is time for workout or the intensity or the distance. Though some may find the 10% increase too much to cope with in the beginning so you should listen to what your body says.
  • Good footwear offers maximum support and reduces biomechanical issues greatly. Make sure you get the right pair as there are several types of footwear available for people with different foot issues.
  • Start with stretches and warming up before your running session. After running, these exercises are equally important. So it is necessary to warm up and cool down during the training period. It definitely makes a lot of difference, although seems boring.
  • Stay away from Overtraining. Overtraining triggers knee pain. Hence, while participating in forthcoming event or competition, make sure your training improves gradually and not suddenly.
  • Wearing a good knee support if you sense knee pain due to running. However, if you have strong muscles then knee support may not be recommended.
  • Perform different exercises to work out on different muscles. This will also help you build flexibility and strength while improving fitness.

Searching for a great Wyckoff physical therapy practice that works closely with athletes, including runners?  Look no further than Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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