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Managing Knee Pain

Managng knee painMost knee pain can be resolved conservatively and should not discourage or hinder runners. You can reduce the risk of injury through adequate preparation, good technique and practices, examination of running surfaces and wearing the right equipment.

Reduce Your Risk for Injury
There are several ways to reduce your risk for injury. The first way is through adequate preparation, which includes warm up and cool down and hydrating before running.

The second way to avoid injury is through good technique and practices. Runners need to gradually build up mileage and intensity and allow 24-48 hours between running sessions. Cross training, such as cycling or swimming on “rest days,” is a good way to build endurance and agility. Know when to stop if you are experiencing pain and ice your knees for 10 to 20 minutes after activity if you are having pain.

The third way to lower your risk of injury includes being aware of your running surfaces. Run on clear, smooth, even and relatively soft surfaces. Gradually add surface changes that include variety.

Finally, make sure to wear the right equipment. Get professionally fitted for running shoes. Bringing old shoes to your fitting will help identify the right fit for you, based on potential gait problems noted by past wear and tear patterns.

Why Runners Get Injured
There are many reasons why runners get injured. Visit How to Avoid Common Running Injuries. The most common injuries are the result of:

  • Running too frequently and too fast.
  • Cumulative stress from prolonged training without rest periods.
  • Biomechanics – unrecognized foot problems and conditions, such as flat feet and high arches. Visit Sports Medicine: Podiatry for more information.
  • Unfamiliar or new running surfaces that have hills, curved roads or potholes, etc.
  • Old or ill-fitting running shoes.
Common Conditions that Cause Knee Pain

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  • Patello–Femoral Pain Syndrome

  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome

  • Patellar Tendonitis

Managing your Knee Pain with Stretching Exercises

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  • Leg, Hip Flexor, Glute, Inner/Outer Thigh and Calf Stretches

  • Hip Flexor Stretch

  • Glute Stretch

  • Supine Hamstring Stretch

  • Prone Quadriceps Stretch

  • Inner Thigh (adductor muscles) or Adduction Stretch

  • Outer Thigh (abductor muscles) or Abduction Stretch

  • Calf Stretch