19 Mar Change your running mechanics to reduce knee pain
The most common complaint from people about running is that it’s hard on their knees.
However, many people don’t realize that there are steps that can be taken to greatly reduce or even eliminate knee pain when running.
Here are nine steps for runners to banish knee pain:
* Tweak your running technique in order to put minimal impact or undue stress on your knees.
* Running with a slight forward lean of the upper body has been proven in studies to reduce the stress on the patellofemoral joint, and thus relieve knee pain, according to a study reported in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy.
* Change your foot position when running. Heel striking is linked with more loading force on the knee than midfoot striking, so some sports trainers and doctors advise that people with chronic knee pain experiment with a midfoot strike.
* Be advised that midfoot and forefoot striking results in a greater load on the Achilles’ tendons. That’s why individuals with chronic Achilles pain are often advised to use a heel strike.
* The force of running has to be transferred somewhere onto the body. However, these above tips are suggestions to lessen the forces on troublesome areas.
* If your feet turn out when you run, increase the amount you rotate your legs inward in small amounts over a number of weeks or months. This will put your knees in a better mechanical position.
This will give the muscles, tendons and fascia in your legs, feet and knees time to adjust to the new direction of movement. Changing the biomechanics of your body takes time and persistence, but it’s well worth it if you never have to deal with knee pain again.
* Alternate running outside and on a high quality treadmill to vary the running surfaces.
* Remember to ice if sore after workouts.
* Consult with a trainer or doctor for more specific tips.
At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. Consult a doctor before making any significant changes in your exercise routine or diet. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at firstname.lastname@example.org