Health Blog

5 Simple Ways to Beat Knee Pain While Running

running

We all know that running is great exercise for our bodies, but often people stop due to knee or lower leg pain. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but usually ones that we are not aware of. Over 50 million Americans deal with some sort of knee trouble, as the knees are the second most common injured joint, the first being the joints in the spine. Therefore, it is essential to know what you can do to prevent knee troubles from even starting.

 


Common injuries with running or exercising:

Patellofemoral pain

Meniscus tears and pain

Ligament injuries (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL)

Osteoarthritis

Shin splints

Hamstring pulls

Achilles tendonitis

 

Most all knee and leg pain can be attributed to the following issues:

  • Poor muscular strength
  • Imbalance of muscular strength with certain muscles stronger and others weaker
  • Poor muscular coordination
  • Poor biomechanics of walking / running
  • Lack of flexibility

 

Don’t push through pain

While feeling a stretching sensation or muscle burn is a normal part of exercising, feeling pain is not. Sharp or dull pain should be paid attention to and not pushed through. Make sure you are doing adequate warming up prior to exercising as muscles and tissues require internal lubrication to work properly. Warming up brings natural fluids to the area to help with lubrication, improving elasticity and function. In addition, make sure to properly stretch after exercising to ensure that flexibility is maintained and gained.

 

5 Ways to Improve Knee Pain

  1. Increase your leg strength. Do wall sits, knee extensions, toe raises, hip side-lifts and more. Speak with one of our professionals for how to perform these exercises correctly.
  2. Improve your patella (kneecap) tracking. Your patella needs to slide up and down and actually form a C pattern when you bend your knee. Do leg lifts with your whole leg rotated to strengthen the inner thigh and knee muscles. Make sure to stretch your kneecap up and down, side to side, to ensure gliding. Most patellofemoral pain comes from poor patella tracking and a physical therapist is the expert to diagnose and treat this problem.
  3. Maintain and improve flexibility. With running and exercising it is very common for the powerful muscles in the leg to become tighter. For example, the hamstring and outer tissues of the leg (iliotibial or “IT” band) can become very tight, altering the mechanics of the knee causing pain. Stretch after every time you run and do adequate warm ups prior. Try integrating yoga and stretching into your routines.
  4. Improve your balance and coordination. Do balance exercises to build up your proprioception (sense of balance position). Exercises such as standing on one leg with and without eyes closed are important. Don’t forget to make sure you setup for safety when performing balance exercises by having a steady surface nearby to hold onto when needed.
  5. Improve your agility. Many casual runners, simply run, but do not perform other types of important exercises such as strengthening, balance and agility training. Mix up your workouts to include these other types of exercises.

 

Seeing a specialist

If you have recurring knee pain or discomfort for more than 3 days, it is time to see a specialist. The ideal specialist to see is a physical therapist as they are medical experts in joint movement and function (kinesiology). A thorough evaluation needs to be done of your movement, walking patterns, strength, joint mobility, patella tracking and proprioception. Only then, can the true source of the pain be found, treated and help you understand what you can do to prevent it from returning. In addition, if you are an avid athlete, a physical therapist is key in helping you discover new ways to improve your movement and function, helping you improve your game. Get on the path to healthy knees and contact Orthopedic and Balance Therapytoday for a free joint movement analysis. Discover how liberating it can be to run or exercise pain free.

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Barbara Serynek
18:52 03 Oct 19
The entire staff has been very pleasant, professional and accommodating. Both Kristen and Joe have given me the best massages. Kate and Kollin made sure that I was doing my excercises and helped to move things along. Feeling better every visit. I'm so glad that I chose Orthopedic & Balance.
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I went to physical therapy not expecting it to do very much to help because that’s the way I approach everything with low expectations. Noel and his team have made my neck feel so much better that it puts me in a more positive mood each day and I actually feel more positive and more productive on a day-to-day basis..
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16:26 14 Aug 19
I could barely walk into OBTS six weeks ago. I had very bad lower back and hip pain. The progress has been life changing for me. I always walk out of there with little or no pain. The staff, Laura, Dr Diane, Angie and, of course, Peggy, have taught me so much to keep my pain at bay. I highly recommend this team.
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Absolutely awesome! My walking has improved 110%. And my pain level is zero. I highly recommend them. Go....you will be amazed how much better you feel.
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I am a PTA student that was required 16 hours of observation time. I had the pleasure of completing my hours at this Valpo location. The staff is incredibly friendly. They were quick to make me feel at home. In a way I was sad to leave, but happy to continue on. I hope to eventually work in this field with a work family this caring and knowledgeable about their profession.
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15:32 27 Aug 18
My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
Arlene Gross
Arlene Gross
15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
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My wife and I have been coming here for a year. They have wonderful customer service and the treatments were great. I could say that since coming here for treatments, I am now able to walk properly and sleep well at nights. They help you in the best way possible. The people here are great and we definitely recommend it to everyone!
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02:30 16 Mar 18
I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
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