Love Long-Distance Running? Give Your Knees Some TLC With These 3 Actions

Posted on: 21 September 2016


When you run, a weighty force travels to your knees every time your foot touches the ground. If you love long distance running, the force is even more powerful against your knees. According to Sports Medicine Australia, up to 70 percent of runners sustain injuries. Of those, 42 percent sustain injuries to their knees. Regular physio sessions to strengthen your knees will help tremendously. You can also give your knees some extra TLC with these actions.

Stretch, Stretch And Stretch Some More Before And After Running

A common aspect of physiotherapy is stretching exercises to make your knees more flexible. But don't leave stretching to these appointments only. Knee joints flourish under low-impact stretches, so make sure you follow them before and after every running session to keep your limbs supple. Muscles like thighs, hamstrings and calves cover your knee joint, so stretches will make them more nimble. A good stretching exercise is to raise your legs while lying down to a straight upward position for strengthening hamstrings, thighs and calves. Side and front squats also put these muscles to good use. Limber muscles are less likely to feel sore when running. If you end up feeling sore and have reason to worry, head to a general physiotherapy session before your knees give way.

Check Your Running Posture And Shoes

The biggest culprits of knee pain for long distance runners are poor running posture and improper running shoes. Your running practice probably has a lot to do with knee pain. Many runners tend to land on their heels while running, but this goes right to your knees and will cause tremendous pressure on them. The more you run in this manner, the harder your knees will be impacted. Instead, try landing on the front or middle of your foot to reduce pressure on your knees. Many experts recommend good shoe cushioning to reduce the impact of long distance running on knees.

Toughen Your Leg Muscles

Many runners are under the misguided notion that running is enough to toughen the legs. This is simply not true. Running builds stamina but doesn't exactly toughen your leg muscles. Working with weights will help to strengthen your legs. According to research, strength training can help to improve joint stability for functionally limited patients, which also applies to running-related knee injuries. This doesn't mean you have to build up heavy leg muscles. Your physio may prescribe light weight training to build strength for your legs based on your body structure and stamina.