Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, also known as “runner’s knee,” is a broad term used to describe many common ailments that cause knee pain. Runner’s knee is often caused by weak hip or back muscles, an overused IT band, or a direct injury to the knee joint from a fall.
Runner’s knee is one of the most common causes of chronic knee pain. This condition can leave you sidelined and unable to do even simple movements, like kneeling, squatting, and walking up steps. In some cases, certain exercises like running or lifting can become excruciating.
Tips To Help Prevent Runner’s Knee
Below are a few proactive tips you can take to help protect yourself from a sidelining injury like runner’s knee.
Wear The Right Kicks
Proper athletic attire makes all the difference when it comes to exercising. Running shoes aren’t meant to last forever and should be replaced after several months, or about 500 miles of regular use. Your arches can also impact which running shoes you buy, as someone with flat feet won’t want the same running shoes as someone with a more pronounced arch. Consider going to a local running store where you can get professionally fitted for the correct pair of shoes or getting a pair of custom inserts that will provide the right support for you.
Get Warmed Up
Before jumping into your workout routine, take a few minutes to warm up with a few dynamic stretches. Gradually increase the intensity to avoid strain or tearing a muscle. Focus on recovery and static stretches after your workout to help reduce muscle soreness and improve your mobility. Recovery tools, like the foam roller or lacrosse ball, can also help release built-up tension or muscle knots that might appear.
Check Your Surroundings
Your environment can significantly impact how much wear and tear your body sustains during a run. Softer surfaces like dirt trails and rubber tracks will not impact your joints as much as concrete or sidewalks. If you are running outside, try not to run on uneven, elevated terrain or surfaces, as holes, cracks, or debris can often be obstacles that might lead to an injury. Overextension from a fall can also cause a serious knee injury if you’re not careful.
Watch Your Form
Whether you’re running, walking, or biking, proper form can make a huge difference in how your body handles your movements. For instance, if you’re running hunched over, bent at the waist, or overextending your legs, your body will respond negatively with joint pain and lost energy. By practicing proper form and posture, you learn to use energy wisely, exercise efficiently, and avoid many workout-related injuries.
Mix Up Your Workouts with Cross Training
One of the best ways to avoid overuse injuries, like runner’s knee, is by cross-training cardio with strengthening exercises. Strength training is crucial to building muscle strength and ensuring your joints stay healthy and active. Try adding a few back, abdominal, and hip strengthening exercises into your workouts to help give your knees more support.
Below are a few exercises you can try to strengthen your hips and legs to reduce knee pain.
DISCLAIMER: You should always consult with your doctor before any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling, or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.
Running Pain Free With Airrosti
If knee pain or other problems are tripping you up, Airrosti can help. Our providers aim to find and treat the root cause of pain, not just the symptoms, so you can get back to enjoying the activities you love most.
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