If you are reading this then you must be experiencing knee pain from your runs. Whether you are new to running or have been running for quite some time knee pain can affect us all. The knee is the second most frequently injured joint (the first is the spine) and has multiple common injuries. Now let’s dig a little bit deeper and get more specific.
Common injuries while running or exercising
- Patellofemoral pain
- Meniscus tears and pain
- Ligament Injuries (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL). We will focus on the ACL since it is the most common ligament injury.
- Shin Splints
- Hamstring pulls
- Achilles Tendonitis
Most leg or knee pain can be attributed to certain issues
1. Poor muscular strength
- Most poor musculature with running involves the hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteals, hip flexors, and calf muscles.
2. Imbalance of muscular strength
- Where certain muscles are stronger/weaker and moves you can perform to improve these issues.
3. Poor muscular coordination or biomechanics of walking/running
- Sometimes we do not even realize how flawed our own gait is.
4. Lack of flexibility. What muscles of mine need to be flexible so I can run and walk without issues?!
- So, as a runner…. Do I REALLY need to be flexible? Absolutely you do and here is why.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT push through pain
Feeling a stretch or a small burn is normal but if you are experiencing excruciating pain the best thing for you to do is stop completely and REST. In order to avoid reaching this point there are things we can do to prevent pain from ever beginning.
- First off an adequate warm-up will aid in bringing natural fluids to your joints and increase elasticity as well as function.
- Following your run you need to stretch all of those muscles that just worked so hard to repeatedly propel you forward. An adequate cool down to ensure flexibility is maintained and gained is always a good thing to end with.
Feel like taking a natural approach to your knee pain? Contact Pittman Physical Therapy today!