If you’re reading this, you may have seen or heard of ‘runner’s knee,’ also known by its attractive clinical name as patellofemoral pain syndrome or chondromalacia patella. All of these terms refer to an inflammation of the cartilage just under your kneecap. You’ll be glad to hear that there are some ways to prevent this occurring.
First, it’s important to note that running doesn’t cause most knee injuries. The way people run causes the injuries. Therefore, improving your preparation and your running technique can vastly reduce the risk of injury.
Many people suffering from runner’s knee have biomechanical problems elsewhere. Exercising these areas can help you avoid knee injuries.
- Glutes and hips – weakness in these areas can lead to instability further down the legs. Strengthen these areas to give your knees the stability they need.
- Quadriceps – a weak quadricep can make it hard for your kneecap to track as it should. Quadricep exercises will help your kneecaps to perform as they should.
- Hamstrings – tight hamstrings shift some of the impact of running to the knees. Warm up and stretch out your hamstrings before running.
A note about weight
If you put on weight, running to lose it will put extra strain on your knees. For each pound you put on, you will be putting an extra four pounds of stress on each knee. This is not to say that you should not run to lose weight. It’s worth keeping this factor in mind, however, and doing everything you can to protect your knees.
Uneven ground is more likely to put strain on your knees. Running on level ground will lessen the torque on your knees.
Strike with your forefoot
With heel strikers, more impact affects the knees, according to a recent study. With forefoot strikers, however, more of the impact forces affect the ankles.
Lean from your ankles
Your stride should then open up behind you. Your feet should land underneath or just behind your center of gravity. Keep your knees bent and soft when in the landing and support phases of your stride.
Point your feet in the direction of travel
If your feet splay to either side when you run, you are likely to overstretch your medial ligaments and tendons of the knee. Don’t do it! Your feet should be parallel and pointing forward when they touch the ground to maximize your ability to run without knee pain and injury.
For a one-on-one session to help you prepare your body and to get the most out of your running, get in touch with our friendly and helpful team of professional trainers today.