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, heavy exercises like running or lifting can become excruciating.
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.
Staying sidelined with knee pain for so long can be difficult, especially if you’re trying to reach your fitness goals. If an injury like runner’s knee does leave you sidelined, Airrosti providers are here to help. We take the time needed to educate you on your injury and give you the tools needed to address pain as it appears.
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
Your workouts will be much safer if you’re in proper footwear. Running shoes aren’t meant to last forever and should be replaced after several months of regular use. Your arches can also impact what running shoes you buy, as someone with flat feet won’t want the same running shoes as someone with a more pronounced arch. Go to a local running store where you can get professionally fitted with the right pair that will help improve your form and keep you pain free.
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 overusing 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’re running outside, pay attention to raised surfaces, objects, or holes that you might easily trip over. Overextension from a fall can also cause a serious knee injury if you’re not careful.
Watch Your Form
It doesn’t matter if you’re running, biking, pivoting, or kicking a ball. 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, 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. 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.
Even if you’re not very active, consider adding these exercises to your daily routine. You might be surprised at how effective they can be at building muscle strength and reducing joint pain.
Running Pain Free with Airrosti
If knee pain or other problems are tripping you up, schedule an appointment with Airrosti today. 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.
We offer both in-office and virtual appointments. Call us today at (877) 631-1385 to learn more about Airrosti and find a provider near you.
View our medical disclaimer here.