Runner’s Knee is a common injury among runners often caused by the following: overuse, misalignment of the bones, weak muscles, or a direct blow or trauma to the knee. Although you always risk injury when you run, many injuries, such as runner’s knee can be prevented. Here are some tips to prevent knee running injuries.
Strong core, hip and leg muscles keep your body aligned while you run. All of these muscles, especially the hips, prevent knee injuries. When your hips are weak or tight, the movements of your knees become limited. Running without this knee mobility forces your body out of alignment and strains the ligaments surrounding your knees. Incorporate light strength training in your workout regimen of these areas.
As mentioned above, flexibility in your hips can save your knees a great deal of pain. Stretching not only gives you the flexibility needed for running, but it strengthens and warms up your muscles. Stretch the back of your legs lightly before and deeply after your run. These muscles tend to get tight during a run which creates pressure and strain on your knees.
A great stretch to protect your knees is called “The Chair”. The Chair opens up your hips and strengthens the back of your legs and the ligaments surrounding your knees. To enter this position, stand with your feet forward, six inches apart. Stretch your arms over your head while you sit back into an imaginary chair. Bend your knees. Your back will arch and your torso will lean forward. Breathe through the stretch. As you become more flexible, you will eventually be able to bring your thighs parallel to the floor.
Running is hard on your knees. So to prevent knee injuries, introduce other exercises in your weekly routine. Pick exercises that are low impact on your knees, as the goal here is to give your knees a break. Try swimming or biking. The key is to listen to your body. If a certain body part is sore or tired, choose an exercise that doesn’t rely on those muscles. This way your body can recover, while you are still being active.
Always remember…if you experience any discomfort in you feet or ankles before or after a run you should contact your East Brunswick podiatrists.
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