5 running tips to avoid knee pain

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Love running but dread knee pain? Here are 5 easy hacks to keep pain at bay and prevent injury.

Are there some steps that can be taken to minimise the risk of getting knee pain?

Yes- and it has nothing to do with funky tape, expensive braces, or complex exercises. It’s all to do with ‘training load’.

Avoiding knee pain- It’s all about loading

There are numerous structures in the knee that can give pain. However, they all have one thing in common- the amazing ability to adapt to load. And most injuries in runner’s knees happen when that load has been exceeded.

And preventing knee injuries? It’s all about load management

1. Allow the body to adapt to new and increased running distances- this takes time

You may see the ’10% rule’ in running books; e.g. don’t increase your distance / training load by more than 10% a week. Although there is little science behind this figure, it can be a useful guideline.

2. Keep your body conditioned

Many runners feel that running itself will give good knee conditioning. For some, this may be true. However there is increasing evidence that lower limb conditioning can help prevent knee pain. Exercises in this category include various forms of squat, leg press or plyometrics.

3. The body needs to recover

Essentially use your body as an indicator; when enthusiasm falls, and injuries, stress or effort go up, have a rest day or two.

READ MORE: Training vs recovery- getting the balance right

4. Shoes, training pattern, speed. Don’t change too many things in your running at once

Again, this is about the body adapting to different forces and loads. If you’re trying new trainers, minimalist or normal, take time to wear them in.

5. Nutrition and fuel

Adapting to load requires fuel in the form of proteins and carbohydrates. Where you don’t take enough ‘fuel’ on board the ability of the body to adapt to load is reduced, and injuries happen easier. There are a million different diets, from low to high carb, and low to high protein.

Keep it sensible, and ensure you have enough of both carbohydrates and protein to keep your body healthy, your knees strong and pain away.

This article first appeared on Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions

Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions is a group of leading Physiotherapy clinics, based in the Sydney CBD and Chatswood.

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