RULE OUT RUNNING PAIN

 

During running, it is very common to experience pain in the knees and other areas throughout the legs.

The majority of runners at some point or another will experience one or more of the following conditions. Commonly, they will do nothing about it, fear the worse or stop running altogether.

Depending on the location of the pain, try some of the below methods to free yourself of pain!

 

Pain behind the knee?

 Try the below exercises:

 

- Standing Calf Raise Stretch

 Hold each leg for 30-60 seconds

 

 

- Semi-Straddle

Hold each leg for 30-60 seconds

 

 

 

Pain Outside Of The Knee?

Often caused by restricted quadriceps or the IT Band. Try the below exercises:

 

- Lying Quad Stretch

Hold each leg for 30-60 seconds

 

 

 

The IT Band (Iliotibal)

 

 

Using a foam roller, roll the distance between the hip and the knee until you feel a tender spot. Once you find a tender spot roll over the area 10-15 times. Try this at least once per day.

 

 

Pain In The Centre Or Bottom Of The Knee?

By enhancing the muscular strength of the hips and legs, we can significantly reduce knee pain, reduce the stress placed upon the knees and improved their function (1).

As the Quadriceps (front thigh) and Hamstrings (rear thigh) crossover the knee joint, they are integral to the stabilisation whilst running and moving. Strength of the quadriceps help prevent the knee from collapsing inward (valgus) (2,3) and the hamstring muscles facilitate stabilisation of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), therefore weakness of the hamstrings opens up increased stress placed upon the ACL and meniscus (cushions within the knee).

Additionally, the gluteal muscles (buttocks) provide the majority of the support of the hips and knees with the Gluteus Medius essential in preventing the knee from collapsing (valgus) and reducing tension through the IT band (4,5).

Try the below exercises:

 

- Single-leg Squat on a Bench / Couch

6-8 reps each leg

 

 

- Step Up Reverse Lunge

12-15 reps each side or 6-8 if using a dumbbell

 

 

 

- Single-Leg Hip Thrust

12-15 reps each leg

 

 

 

 

Isometrics (static tension)  

Hold these positions for 30 seconds, for 3-5 sets per week. It has been demonstrated that isometric exercise is effective in reducing patellar (knee cap) pain and patellar tendinopathy (6).

 

- Squat Wall Hold

 


 

- Glute Bridge Hold

 

 

Eccentrics (tension whilst lengthening)  

 

 

Squatting at a decline, especially at 25° has been shown to be a superior method compared to traditional eccentric squats. Using a decline angle increases the load on the patellar tendon (just below the knee) during single-leg squats. By utilising the eccentric phase of the squat, we are predominantly focusing on the slow lowering phase of the movement (7).

 

 

Resources

1. Ferber, R, Running Mechanics and Gait Analysis, Human Kinetics, 2014; P88.

2. Li, G., T.W. Rudy, et al. 1999. The importance of quadriceps and hamstring muscle loading on knee kinematics and in-situ forces in the ACL. J Biomech 32(4): 395-400

3. Ferber, R., L.R. Osternig, et al. 2002a. Gait mechanics in chronic ACL deficiency and subsequent repair. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 17(4): 274-285.

4. Fredericson, M., C.L. Cookingham, et al. 2000. Hip abductor weakness in distance runners with iliotibial band syndrome. Clin J Sport Med 10(3): 169-175.

5. Bolgla, L., T. Malone, et al. 2008. Hip strength and hip and knee kinematics during stair descent in females with and without patellofemoral pain syndrome. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 38(1): 12-18.

6. Rio, Ebonie, Purdam, Craig, Girdwood, Michael M, Cook. Isometric Exercise to Reduce Pain in Patellar Tendinopathy In-Season; Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: May 2019 - Volume 29 - Issue 3, p 188–192.

7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2006.03.004

8. Young, Eccentric decline squat protocol offers superior results at 12 months compared with traditional eccentric protocol for patellar tendinopathy in volleyball players. BMJ 2005; 39 246-246.

Jonple