4 Tips to Prevent Runner’s Knee

Knee_SurgeonRunning is relaxing, therapeutic, challenging, rewarding, and sometimes even frustrating, especially when an injury occurs. In just a moment, damage to your knee can end your running career or send you rushing to see a knee surgeon. Runner’s knee is a common problem for athletes in the sport, but can be avoided in a few particular ways.

Footwear

Your running shoes should be just that–shoes made specifically for running. Invest in a lightweight pair that are correctly sized and perfect for your weight, gait, and running preferences. Your shoes have the responsibility of absorbing an immense amount of force that may otherwise travel to your knees, so talk with an expert and buy quality shoes.

Weight Control

Every stride you take places hundreds of pounds of force on your knees and joints. Carrying around extra body weight compounds that situation and can increase the potential for damage. Work with your medical doctor and knee surgeon on a sensible weight management plan, including diet and exercise. In addition, never run with weights since this adds the same type of burden on your joints.

Proper Technique

There is a right and a wrong way to run, and decisions you make when running may lead to trouble. Know your limits and respect your running level. Running on a more aggressive surface than you can safely manage, or pushing yourself to exhaustion will only serve to degrade your form and introduce risk. Also running when tired equals sloppy tendencies, which can easily equate to major knee damage.

Other Exercise

Your knee joints are supported by a system of muscles, tendons and ligaments. Keeping that system strong is very important, and you can do that through low impact exercise like yoga, water aerobics, or non-aggressive weight bearing exercise. Talk to your knee surgeon about activities you can do that will not be stressful on your knees and will help strengthen the joints.

Using a bit of common sense and caring for your body properly can minimize the risk of developing runner’s knee. Always set challenging goals for yourself, but be aware of your body’s vulnerabilities when striving to achieve those goals.

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