"Runner's knee" is one of the main injuries that runners experience. If you have pain in your knees during or after running, it is important to find out what is causing the discomfort and resolve it before it develops into a serious injury. Ask yourself whether one of these three common reasons for knee pain associated with running could apply to you.
1. Old Shoes
The padding on the bottom of running shoes cushions the impact of every step you take. Over time, the padding wears out, which means that it is no longer able to provide the cushioning your body needs. Experts recommend replacing your shoes after you have run between 300 and 500 miles in them. Treat yourself to a new pair to see whether this simple solution resolves your knee pain.
Many people think they need to take long strides in order to run fast, but this running style can lead to injuries. Overstriding is the term running coaches use to refer to a running form where you land with your foot out in front of you and your front leg almost straight. This landing position sends shocks up your leg, which eventually damages the knee joint.
Ideal running form involves taking small, fast and light steps, each of which results in your foot landing underneath your centre of mass. When you adopt this style of running, you will probably notice that you land on the ball of the foot rather than the heel, which means the muscles in the foot and lower leg can gradually absorb landing forces rather than transmitting them through the knee joint.
The easiest way to change your running form is to increase the number of steps you take each minute. The recommended range is between 170 and 190 steps per minute. Listening to music that has between 170 and 190 beats per minute might help to keep you on track.
3. Weak Leg Muscles
The muscles in your legs work together to protect your knee joint when you run. If you regularly get knee injuries, then doing squats, glute bridges and other leg exercises could help to strengthen these muscles so that they can better perform their role. On the other hand, it is important not to stress an already injured knee by starting a vigorous strengthening program. Rather than hitting the gym on your own, visit a physiotherapy clinic to find out what exercises you can do to benefit your knee injury.