Having a bad knee? Here are the rules: don’t run, lift or squat! Right? …Wrong!
You should consider bad knees as just a hurdle to overcome, and never an excuse to evade running and exercise. However, take caution while running with a bad knee since any weight-bearing exercise could increase knee pain.
I know, there are significant arguments out there that running with a bad knee could lead to osteoarthritis. However, according to a recent study by Hansen Utah Orthopaedic Centre, moderate and low volume runners have reduced the risk of developing osteoarthritis compared to non-runners.
Here are the critical factors to consider before embarking on running with a bad knee: muscle problems, ligament tear, and cartilage tear, to have painless running.
Step by Step
Soft Surface Running
Do you run on hard surfaces such as concrete? You could be inducing harm to your knees. However, researchers recommend that you run on softer surfaces like grass to reduce the amount of shock that hits your knees.
However, always choose a soft but stable surface to avoid twisting your need, which would cause additional injury.
If you’ve suffered shin splints or runner’s knee, soft surfaces such as trails will be great for your knees. Choose trails that are marked as asphalt or dirt.
However, avoid trails that have rock and roots as you could land at a wrong angle to harm your knee.
A recent study by Foot and Ankle International journal concluded that running on an asphalt surface reduced the risk of injury, tendinopathy, compared to running on the sandy surface
Avoid: Sand tails should be a no for you unless you are sure that they have been hard-packed. This is mainly because loose sand will twist your knee, hip or ankle.
Running can be fun and safe if you have shoes that give proper support to your knees, particularly with bad knees.
You’ll need to choose shoes that can cushion your knees, by absorbing excessive pressure that could cause further impairment to your bad knee.
So, what critical factor should you consider while choosing your ultimate shoes? Well, running shoes are built to cover about 300-500 miles. Therefore, ensure that you change the shoe after every 6 months.
Take a Break
Sometimes running can be addicting, especially when it shows positive results on your body. However, note that running continuously for a long time could strain your knees.
Therefore, schedule your runs to allow breaks after some given time or when your cover a specified distance.
Preferably set your goal to rest after like every 25 minutes. Such a break will give you enough time for recovery both for your heart, feet, and knees.
Stretch before running
Stretching is a critical step in daily healthy exercise. Therefore, always stretch before beginning your regular running routine.
Ensure to stretch the calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps to maintain flexible joints and reduce pressure going to your knees.
It is essential, that, like every other intelligent runner, you keep your form in top shape to avoid hurting your bad knees.
Having proper form reduces discomfort while you are running with bad knees. Therefore, you’ll require to lean forward slightly and ensure your knees remain bent thus offering your knees that required a natural cushion.