Running is a timeless exercise that has helped folks cut down and build cardio for centuries. As reliable as it is though, many folks with knee problems will tell you that the impact this workout has isn’t always completely beneficial.
To help you avoid knee pain during your jogging exercises, we’ve compiled a guide with various tips and tricks. To supplement your efforts to remain pain-free, we’ve also included resources for podiatrists, physiotherapists, doctors, chiropractors, and other similar services.
Tips to Prevent Knee Pain During Runs
Remember to stretch and warm up before running
As with any other muscle group, it’s important to warm up and stretch properly before you head out for a long jog. The idea behind this is that muscles are less likely to tear when subjected to impact after being made pliable through warm-up movements.
This is why many personal trainers and coaches will have clients perform light sets or weight-free movements before attempting any weightlifting. Common warm-ups movements include high knees, butt kicks, and grapevines to name a few.
Strengthen your legs
To properly disperse the impact sustained from running, our leg muscles must be well-balanced and developed. This requires training your legs and strengthening them with a specific focus on the quadriceps and hamstrings.
These muscles help support our knees, which is why developing them can lead to less knee pain during long workouts. Runners utilize resistance bands and weight training to help them strengthen their leg muscles, but many athletes also incorporate balance exercises.
Offset running with other low-impact workouts
No sane person would train their chest or legs continuously without any rest as this would cause overload and result in injuries. Since the exact same logic applies to running, it’s important to alternate your runs with other low-impact workouts.
Don’t push too hard
As tempting as it may be to sell your soul in order to break your 1-mile PR, you should avoid pushing yourself too far. Our bodies come with built-in receptors to tell us when we’ve suffered an injury.
Ignoring these signs and pushing yourself can end up aggravating your injury and putting you out of commission longer. If your knees don’t feel quite right during a run, it’s best to taper off the mileage and switch to low-impact training until you’re feeling more capable.
Ice your knees after running
Just like how athletes enjoy full-body ice baths, subjecting your knees to cold temperatures is a great way to reduce swelling and relieve inflammation. This happens due to a process known as vasoconstriction which is essentially a narrowing of the blood vessels.
It’s worth noting though that ice exposure should be limited to 10 to 15-minute intervals in order to avoid soft tissue damage.
While there are many other techniques one can employ, we feel that those mentioned above are the most effective when it comes to preventing and minimizing knee pain. We sincerely hope that this guide can help you manage your knee pain as you pursue your fitness goals.