The biggest fear of every runner is that their joints are going to start to ache and prevent them from running. You can actually never know when something like knee or ankle pain could occur, but you should know the most common reasons that happen and how to prevent it.
Maybe you had a knee injury when you were younger and it could start showing up again while running. Also, a meniscus tear is another problem that could make your knees ache as well as the jumper’s knee. There are simply many reasons for this pain to show since knees are gentle and the impact of feet to the ground puts too much stress on them. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent this and take proper care of your knees and tendons around them which will enable you to run without any difficulties.
Wear the Right Shoes
Feet are very complex and if you don’t take care of them while running, you will find more problems occurring in them, your knees and even hips. It is all connected and you have to protect your foot in order to avoid any further aches and problems. Running is a high impact sport and puts plenty of stress on feet, ankles, and knees and wearing proper shoes will help you run easily and reduce any risks of injury and pain.
Your job is to find the right shoes that will provide proper support for your toes, heel, and arch. Also, the sole should be comfortable and thick enough to provide amortization during running. Not only will running become even more fun, but you will manage to save your knees from stress, provide comfort for your feet and avoid and prevent any ankle pain and injuries.
Don’t Skip the Strength Training
Strength training is good for your entire body. Proper strength exercises will make your muscles more strong and flexible which is an important part of preventing any pain and injuries. If your lower-body muscles are weak, you should try to make them stronger. You can perform plenty of different exercises, such as lunges and squats and you will manage to make your thighs and knees stronger and more balanced. Also, don’t forget to work on your core and stability, because those will keep your knees and hips protected while running and even help with performance.
Lean Forward While Running
If you’re experiencing any knee pain during or after your running session, it could be that your technique or posture is off. Maybe you are not leaning forward enough and this puts even more stress to your joints, making your knees hurt. So, to prevent this, lean your trunk slightly forward while running, and you will manage to reduce the load placed on your joints, including knees. This will in return lower the risks of discomfort and injury on your knees and ankles.
It is essential to know your body and listen to it and know when it’s tired. Too much intense training will only bring negative effects and increase the risks of injuries and pain. If you’re already experiencing knee pain, think about how much you’ve run in the last couple of days and see if that was maybe too much for your body. Your body needs proper rest in order to stay healthy, injury-free and to make progress. If you run one day, make sure to rest the next day, or adjust the amount of time you spend running in one take. Take care of your body, let it rest, and you will reach your goals fast and avoid pain.
Knees are delicate. No joint in your body will give in eventually if you’re putting too much stress on it every day. So, make sure your running technique is right, invest in proper shoes and take it easy. You will be able to run faster and longer if you gradually increase the intensity.
If you are looking for help with your knee pain or would simply like to improve your running posture please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local physical therapist. Many clinics have running programs that are designed specifically to help keep people on the pavement pain-free!