Saturday, June 3, 2023

Runners Knee: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Runner's knee is a common injury that affects the knee joint and can cause pain and discomfort. It's caused by overuse, poor running form, and weakness in the muscles surrounding the knee joint. If you're experiencing pain around your kneecap, especially when running or climbing stairs, it's likely you're suffering from runner's knee.

To prevent runner's knee, it's essential to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint and improve your running form. Here are a few tips:

  • Strengthen your quadriceps and hamstrings with exercises such as lunges and squats. The daily dozen exercises I recommend include lunges and burpees...which have that squat element. 

  • Focus on your running form and avoid overstriding. You should have a slight lean forward as you run. Slight!  Your hips should be over your mid-foot strike. 

  • Wear shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning. As mentioned in the last article, I actually run in "barefoot" shoes and it's made a huge difference for me. But again, everyone is different. For as long as I can remember, I ran in Nike Pegasus as my trainers and never had a problem until the 2020. I don't know if they changed the design or what, but they never worked for me again. 

  • Gradually increase your mileage and intensity. The general rule of thumb is no more than 10% per week. I actually advise my runners to do 5-10% based on check-ins to see how they feel, how they're sleeping, etc. Every third or 4th week, we'll back off on the mileage to help recover before increasing again. 

If you do experience runner's knee, the best course of action is to rest, ice, and elevate your knee. Over-the-counter pain medication can also help reduce inflammation and pain.

As a running coach, I specialize in helping runners prevent and recover from injuries, so they can continue to enjoy their runs. Please reach out if you have any questions or would like to learn more about my coaching services.


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