Running is a great way to keep fit, physical and mental health and is available to everyone. However, many runners complain of knee pain during or after running, which is why it has been dubbed the “runners knee”.
But even though the name associates that running is wrong for such pain, you don’t need to give up sports and exercise, you just need to prepare your body for exercise to avoid pain.
The knee is the largest and most complex joint in the human body. It consists of three bones that make up two joints. The upper and lower bones form one joint, while the upper bone and the patella form the other joint. But what makes the knee so complex is its role in walking, jumping, running and standing. This is why the patella and menisci are especially important because they distribute weight when moving.
The movements are made possible by passive and active knee stabilizers. Passive stabilizers are ligaments that extend to the thigh muscles. The active stabilizers are the muscles of the anterior and posterior thigh lobes and the muscles of the gluteal region, which do not belong to the group of knee stabilizers, but are very important for the bipedal system of movement. Strength training means strength exercises, and to prevent knee pain it is necessary to strengthen the backbox and quadriceps.
What creates knee pain?
Chondromalacia of the patella is a painful condition also called a racing knee, in which the protective cartilage that covers the patella softens or wears out due to excessive and / or repetitive stress. Namely, such a change in cartilage can make it difficult for the cup to slide smoothly, and the resulting friction can cause inflammation and pain in the front of the knee or behind the knee. Dull pain can increase during activities that create additional stress on the knee joint, such as: climbing or descending stairs, kneeling, and even running.
Big injuries can lead to the need to replace the knee. This may stop you from running ever again, although running after knee replacement can be possible.
What do the experts say?
Fitness trainer Marino Bašić from Basic Gym One believes that intense running, like any other sport, can lead to knee problems. “In my opinion, it all depends on the level and amount of running. Every sport that is overdone consumes the cartilage of the knee. In my opinion, light running two to three times a week will not damage the knee, but intense running can destroy it. Like any sport, excessive exercise it damages the cartilage of the wrist. That’s why footballers often have knee problems as well as shoulder tennis players. ”
However, Bašić believes that you can prevent pain with three types of exercises “strength training, proprioception and mobility”. Strength training means strength exercises, and to prevent knee pain it is necessary to strengthen the back box and quadriceps. Proprioception are balance exercises, and their task is to prepare the body for unusual static and dynamic stimuli. Mobility training refers to the joints and their range of motion.
“In order for these exercises to have their full effectiveness before running, ie training, mobility and proprioception exercises should be done, and after running strength exercises,” explained Marino Bašić, adding: “Strength exercises are isometric exercises, endurance in squats, slow squats, exercises on a pilates ball “, states Bašić.
Isometric exercises are exercises that consist of tightening the muscles without moving the limbs or the body as a whole, and are performed after running.
If you feel fatigues after just a few days of running, even if you rest enough you should definitely do more of isometric exercises to get more strenght and to overcome running fatigue.
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