Knee pain and discomfort are by far two of the most common complaints spoken of by most athletes.
One major reason for this is solely based on the knee’s propensity to significantly degrade as we age, and this rate of degradation doesn’t slow down as we get more active. Activities that produce higher degrees of stress about this intricate joint tend to increase an individual’s chances of injury or orthopedic issues over time.
With that aside, running has to be one of the most knee-torturing activities that you can put yourself through, and with the weather starting to warm up… it should be expected that more and more people will be hitting the trails soon.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
However don’t worry!
Here are a few tips on how to prevent knee pain and discomfort for the upcoming running season!
Novice runners should ease into running longer distances, and should definitely continue or start to cross train in order to bolster their leg strength and stability.
Beginners often have the same injuries and complaints; soreness about the outside or inside of the knee, usually getting worse with longer distances. The muscles that support the joint’s stability need to ease into longer distances with time, so give that to those legs!
Invest in a foam roller!
I must seem like a broken record in every article that I write, but foam rolling is one of the best ways to release the tension of tight leg muscles.
Daily rolling can allow for myofascial release of the connective tissues that surround each muscle, an effective means of taking the tension off of an aching knee joint.
Research the directions that certain muscle fibers contract and aim for the quads, the hamstrings, and your calves. More importantly roll the IT band along the side of your hip; this is where your glutes insert upon, and it’s a common source of knee discomfort and injury.
Check your shoes for quality and make sure that they’re the right ones for your foot striking patterns.
This is important if you’re looking to rack up those miles, and bad shoes will make problems for your feet… and then your knees. Consult a local running shop and see if they can analyze your stride patterns. Most experienced folks will help guide you into that perfect shoe… it will be worth it for the stability they’ll provide your knee!
Finally, warm up and stretch before and after each exercise session.
Time and time again, I will run into an athlete that skips these two essential components… and these are usually the folks who end up rolling their ankle or rupturing their Achilles’ tendon.
Running, or any endurance activity for that matter, significantly increases the stiffness of joint capsules which in term reduces its flexibility. So before each run or routine, perform a dynamic warm up and perform static stretches after… hitting those muscles you used.
Again, knee pain and discomfort are by far two of the most common complaints spoken by most runners.
Increasing your running speeds and distances will undoubtedly raise the stress about this intricate joint, and injuries will ensue if you’re not proactive with this joints’ health. Be sure to try these tips in relieving your knee pain, and rack up those miles this spring!