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Of all the knee injuries that occur to people all over the world, the most common ones are caused while running. People injure their knees while running on the treadmill, while running in the park or while partaking in sports that require a lot of running. Though knee injuries caused by running are fairly common, they are also the most preventable type of knee injuries.
Below, we will explore some basic pointers on how to prevent knee injuries.
How to prevent knee injuries that are caused by running?
Wearing the right type of shoes
Most knee injuries from running are simply caused by a bad pair of shoes. A lot of people mistakenly associate expensive shoes as being the best shoes for running. However, the fact of the matter is that a pair of sneakers can cost $200 and be the worst pair of shoes that you can possibly wear, because they are too wide for you or because they don’t offer you the right type of arch support.
When buying shoes for running, select shoes that don’t allow your foot to slide around. There should be just enough room for you to insert about a finger’s width into the back of the shoe, no more. If you have feet that are narrow or extra wide, you must buys shoes accordingly. If you are flat footed, buy shoes that will offer you arch support as all these little things will dramatically reduce the chances of a twist or knee buckle that can cause various types of knee injuries.
Stretch out your knees
If you are the type that suddenly puts on your running gear and heads out for a jog or a run, you must know that you greatly increase the risk of knee injuries from running. Before you head out for a jog or run, you need to get the blood flowing into your knees, with a little stretching. This is especially important if you run in cold weather or if you run just after you wake up. Stretching will also help you avoid a host of other types of injuries that concern the buttocks, groin and hamstrings.
Also See: How To Prevent Knee Pain When Bending
Cross train your legs
Running or going for a jog regularly is great. However, you have to realize that repetitive running will make one part of your leg stronger, depending on your running style. As an example, your hamstrings might be a lot more weaker than your quadriceps. That is not ideal as even a small mishap can lead to an injury, as your knee’s balance is not very optimal. Once in a while, do some strengthening exercises that will strengthen all the muscle groups in your lower body. They all add up to help you prevent knee injuries from running. This is particularly important if you are an everyday runner.
Be careful about your running workload
Running is an addictive activity. Runners usually have a sense of euphoria after they have had a good run and always want to go just that little bit more in their next run. If not planned properly, increments in running distance can easily cause running injuries.
As a general rule of thumb, you must not increase your running distance by more than 10% in a week. The same goes for time increments as well. Don’t try to run the same distance that took you 10 minutes yesterday, in 6 minutes tomorrow. The improvements should be more gradual, to allow your knees to slowly become stronger to take on the extra payload.
If you really need to step up your running performance in a short period of time, you must at least take care to intensively stretch and also strengthen your lower body.
The right type of nutrition
Believe it or not, knee injuries from running can actually be prevented, to a certain extent, with the right type of nutrition. Runners need nutrition that will aid with cartilage repair and the strengthening of joints. Foods that have those characteristics are usually foods that have a lot of calcium in them, like dairy products and green leafy vegetables.
Runners also usually take supplements such as Glucosamine to speed up their knee repair process. Glucosamine is actually a naturally occurring amino sugar that plays a critical role in cartilage repair in the knees and other joints.
Keeping your weight manageable
This is a bit of tricky advice as most people who run are those who want to lose a few pounds. If you are at a weight that you would describe as being well in excess of your ideal body weight, you must be very careful about your running intensity. Your knees can easily buckle and injure if you have a bad running technique or if you wear bad shoes and are also over weight at the same time.
Start out with short distance and gradually increase them every day. Every time you begin to develop some discomfort or pain the knees, maintain the distance and running speed for a few days to allow the knees to adjust to the workload, without pain, before moving on to longer distances and faster running times.
Knee Injuries – Preventative Care
Even though you may suffer knee pain due to knee injuries when running, but there is no reason why you should stop running or exercising. You just have to use the information above and follow all the basic pointers to prevent yourself from any severe knee injuries caused by running.