How to beat runner’s knee

Due to biomechanics women are actually more susceptible to runner’s knee than men. Runners knee is most commonly caused by tightness of the lateral thigh muscles and weak medial thigh and butt muscles. This causes your knee cap to be pulled laterally, aggravating and causing inflammation of the joint surface. Unless you correct the muscular imbalances, and your running technique, the inflammation and pain will only increase.

What are the symptoms?

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Usually you will feel pain or tenderness behind your kneecap, or aching in your knee. This pain will be exacerbated during running, when you’re walking up and down stairs and in other situations where you’re loading your thigh muscles with a bent knee.

How can I prevent it?

Training for a race? Avoid dramatic increases in your running load. Instead, go for small increases in your program each week. Also, try running with a shorter stride. A higher cadence running technique will place less stress on your knees. Strengthening and stretching the muscles you use for running is also important. This includes your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves. Additionally, get regular massages and use a foam roller on your quads and IT bands (located on the front and outside of your thigh).

How do I rehabilitate it so I can return to running?

Much of the prevention techniques will also help with your rehabilitation. But firstly you will need to reduce any inflammation. Try icing and elevating your leg. You will need to cut back on traditional running mileage. However, you can do deep water running to maintain your fitness and reduce the load on your knees. You may also need more support in the arch of your shoes, so get fitted for runners at a specialist shop.

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Neil Russell
Neil Russell is the founder of ATLETA and one of the most highly qualified, experienced and sought after trainers in Sydney. He has trained Hollywood celebrities, models, top athletes and high profile corporate clients. He started working in the fitness industry as a gym instructor in 2001, while studying Human Movement Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). In 2004, he spent hours performing physiological testing on athletes in the UTS human performance laboratory and wrote his thesis examining the physiology of team sports performance. For his research paper he received a First Class Honours Degree. Since completing his major work, Neil has built a reputation of being an authority on exercise and sports performance training having had a number of articles published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. He is currently the resident expert exercise consultant for Weight Watchers magazine, and has featured in other publications such as CLEO, Men’s Style and Woman’s Day. Neil also lectures at the State Sport Centre (ACPE) and has taught at UTS and UNSW. As an Exercise Physiologist Neil is able to safely help professional athletes and his personal training clients achieve their individual goals, even when they present with an injury or chronic pain. Boasting unparalleled professional experience and knowledge, combined with his passion for maximizing his clients physical and psychological wellbeing, Neil is the ideal person to help you achieve your goals.