Archive for March, 2013

Avoiding Knee Pain When Running

Posted: March 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

Spring is finally upon us. Soon, the weather will be warming up and we will all be thinking about getting ready for summer and shedding those pesky winter pounds. For many of us, that means strapping on the running shoes and either hitting the treadmill or the trails. Unfortunately, this also means the onset of injuries, especially knee pain. As a physical therapist, I have treated a lot of knee pain but I have also suffered from knee pain.

About 5 years ago, I had to have a knee surgery for a meniscus that tore away from the joint capsule. The recovery meant 2 weeks of immobilization followed by 4 more weeks in a leg brace with restricted motion. I lost a lot of muscle and range of motion in the process. Prior to this surgery, I was a big runner. It took me about 2 years after the surgery to even think about running again. When I did, I often had knee pain and could no longer run the distances that I used to. Frustrated, I gave up running for awhile and did other activities that didn’t cause me pain. In a way, I can thank that knee pain for my accomplishments in the sport of bodybuilding!

Recently, I decided to try to get back into running again. I’ve missed the feeling I get after finishing a good run and I’ve also missed what running/sprinting can do for my legs! I made a few small, but significant, changes and I can happily say that I have made a comeback and am now able to run and sprint completely PAINFREE! Below I will list some of the tips that you can try if knee pain has been an issue for you or if you want to try to avoid pain/injury:

1) If you run on a treadmill, simply try raising the incline to 1%. It is such a small change but can significantly lessen the impact on your knees.

2) If you run outdoors, try a softer surface if you can. Rather than pounding the pavement (literally), try to run on grass or dirt if available.

3) Check your shoes: Everyone is different! Some people need a shoe with more stability while others may need more cushioning. Visit a specialty running store to get the right type of shoe for your needs. For me, a shoe with additional cushioning made all the difference.

4) Check your form: Lately, there are more “techniques” for running that can leave us more confused than ever. Are you a heel-striker? mid-foot striker? fore-foot striker? What ever happened to just going out and running? Pay attention to how you run. If you tend to land on your heel, this can mean a lot of impact for the knees. I varied my technique to land less on my heel and more on a flatter foot. Problem solved!

5) Stretch and strengthen: Specifically, make sure you have adequate flexibility in you calves and hamstrings and that your quadriceps are strong.

6) If you’re just starting out or trying to alter your technique, GRADUALLY increase your time or mileage to give your joints and muscles a chance to adapt. Cross-training is another great way to avoid repetitive stress on muscles and joints. Switch your workout up by using the bike, elliptical, etc.

7) Try supplementing your diet with a product designed to support healthy joints. A good one to try is Top Secret Nutrition’s Advanced Joint Support.

8) If all else fails and you continue to have pain or experience problems, don’t wait to seek help from a qualified professional!

Happy Trails!

Welcome to My New Blog Site!

Posted: March 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hello friends!  I have just joined WordPress as my new blog site.  Here I will be posting weekly news, tips, and just about anything else related to my passion for health and fitness.  You are welcome to join me on my journey; I hope to inspire and be inspired by all of you.  Comments and questions are always welcome, but please keep them positive!