Protect Your Knees When You Run

Connie McKinney By Connie McKinney, 6th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/21y6_yc3/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Exercise & Fitness

Your knees take a real pounding every time you run. Here's how to protect them and avoid runner's knee.

Wear Properly Fitted Running Shoes


So many runners develop problems with their knees that there's a condition named after them: runner's knee. This can be a painful condition which keeps runners off the track and on the couch. The good news is runners can take some precautions to prevent knee problems from occurring.
Step one is to wear properly fitted running shoes. This is one of the best ways to prevent any running-related injuries, including runner's knee. Buy your shoes from a sporting goods store or running store where employees can help you find the best pair of shoes for you. Be sure to take them for a test run first. For more information, see my article on how to buy running shoes.
Runners may also need to wear orthotics - inserts worn inside the shoes. These provide extra support for your feet, knees and legs but must be prescribed by a doctor.
Some runners find relief by wearing a knee brace when they run. Again, a doctor must prescribe the brace.

Stretch Before Running


Another key to preventing runner's knee is to stretch before you run. Be sure to walk a few minutes or do jumping jacks before stretching. Do stretches which work your calf muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps and hips. If these muscles are stretched and strengthened, they will in turn protect the knees. For more information, see my article on stretching for runners
Here are some more stretches which help strengthen the knees:

Be sure to stretch before and after runs. For my information, see my article on warming up and cooling down

Avoid Running on Hard Surfaces


Running on sidewalks, streets and paved trails can lead to knee problems. Hard surfaces can be hard on knees. Avoiding hard surfaces may give knees a much-needed break, according to Web Md.
Try running on cinder or artificial surface tracks. Tracks with an artificial surface are the most comfortable. However, some schools and colleges which have these don't allow the public to run on them.
Another option is to run on the grass beside the street, sidewalk or trail. This can work well. However, be sure to stay on short, well-mowed grass. High grass could be hiding a hole or harboring ticks.

Watch Your Weight


Being overweight can put pressure on knees. Every extra pound puts even more pressure on knees. That's why runners need to stick to their ideal weight.
Running is a strenuous form of exercise which can help with weight loss. However, runners can find themselves in a Catch-22 situation where they can't run because of knee pain and can't lose weight because they can't run.
One way to deal with this problem is to start slow. Start walking and add a few more minutes or more distance each week. Then, gradually build up to running.

How to Cope With Runner's Knee


Even the most cautious runner may push too hard and may wind up with runner's knee. Step one is to see a doctor immediately. Follow the acronym RICE: Rest your knee. Ice it. Compress it with a bandage or other covering. Elevate it, according to Web Md.
Every case is different. Some runners can return to action in a couple of weeks. Others will have to sit it out longer.
The good news is most runners bounce back quickly. Then, they can get back to doing what they love best: running.

Here's one on preventing injuries
Here's one on running with asthma

Here's one on running in weather
Here's one on night running
Here's one on autumn running

Here's one on foot care
Here's one on running on paths
Here's one on hot weather running
Here's one on running your first 5K race
Here's one on how to start running

Attribution


This article was based on some information from Web Md
The video came from You Tube.
The pictures came from Morguefile.com

Tags

Knee, Knee Pain, Knees, Run, Running, Running Advice, Running Shoes, Running Tips

Meet the author

author avatar Connie McKinney
I enjoy exercising, pets, and volunteering as well as writing about these topics and others.

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Comments

author avatar Phyl Campbell
6th Oct 2013 (#)

Protecting knees is important in running and aerobics, too. Good article!

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author avatar Connie McKinney
7th Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks, Phyl. Be sure you watch out for your knees during Jazzercize.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
7th Oct 2013 (#)

Great tips if we want to keep our legs in good shape and not be aching in old age.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
7th Oct 2013 (#)

Yes, Mark, we don't want to wear out our knees.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
7th Oct 2013 (#)

The knees are teh most important part of your body, especially being an athlete!. Very well sais with a lot of fundamental information!

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author avatar Connie McKinney
7th Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks, Fern. You are so right; the knees are so important.

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author avatar Retired
7th Oct 2013 (#)

Every so often I think about going for a run and then get worried as to whether I will injure something. I feel a bit happier about the idea now, Thank you

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author avatar Connie McKinney
8th Oct 2013 (#)

Jackalyn Ann, you should try it. I did one a while ago called "From Beginner to Runner." That may help. Start slow and easy. You can do it!

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