6 Easy Ways to End Knee Pain and Get Back to Running
Runners all want to know what is the best shoe to run in. The answer is…There is no particular brand that is better than others and no one shoe that is best for everyone. Pick a shoe that feels comfortable and stick with it. Your should replace your shoes every 300-350 miles depending on wear, but do your best to replace them with the same brand and style you have run successfully with in the past. Do not switch shoe styles if you can help it!
Perform a Dynamic Warm-up Prior to Running
Your body should already be loose when you take your first running strides of the day. Going through a proper dynamic warm-up to increase circulation, loosen tight muscles, activate weak muscles, and prepare your body to run will go a long way in reducing running related stresses. General rule…if it takes you a mile or two to feel loose, your warm-up is not sufficient.
Perform a Daily Mobility Program
In order to run as efficiently and with as little stress as possible, it is extremely important to have good flexibility in 3 key areas (hip, ankle, and great toe)! A good mobility program, utilizing a combination of stretching, foam rolling, and soft tissue release with massage ball, that targets these areas is key to keeping you on the road and away from pills.
3-4 Times Per Week Strength Program
Much like the mobility section, the hip, ankle, and foot seem to be the key from a strength perspective as well. Weakness in these areas creates undesired and stressful twisting forces in your running stride, resulting in extra friction and eventually pain. Completing a comprehensive strength program targeting hip strength and foot/ankle stabilization 3-4x/week can help keep the aches and pains away!
Increase Your Cadence
First of all, let’s get this out in the open...there is no magic cadence that is going to eliminate your injury risk. However the general consensus seems to point to a cadence of 180 steps per min being a good goal to keep running stress as low as possible. Contacting the ground out in front of your body increases stress to your knees. Often times, simply increasing your cadence will pull your feet back a little and help you run more efficiently. If your cadence is significantly lower and you are worried you cannot keep up with the 180, DON’T WORRY...raising your cadence by just 5% typically reduces running related forces by nearly 20%. Just think about how much less stress that will be over the course of a 5-10-15-20+ mile run. Get a metronome and set it to a pace you can achieve comfortably with the goal of gradually increasing over time as you become more confident.
Give PT a Try
Most people don’t realize how easy it is to consult with a physical therapist. You DO NOT need a referral from your doctor. The 1st session is free and we can discuss some other things you may be able to do to get back to running pain free. Just call this number...434-964-6952