If you want to take running seriously, it’s important to take injury prevention seriously, too.
Any repetitive exercise brings with it the risk of aggravating something. Running is no exception.
Fortunately, by learning about common running ailments in advance and being proactive about avoiding them, you can steer clear of many injuries altogether (or at least bounce back quickly if they do become an issue).
Today we’re talking about Runner’s Knee.
What it is. The technical name for Runner’s Knee is patellofemoral pain syndrome, but chances are you have no reason to remember that. Basically, Runner’s Knee is simply knee pain, concentrated right around your knee cap. Sometimes you’ll notice it first when running downhill or walking down stairs.
Where it comes from. The most common cause of Runner’s Knee, particularly with beginning runners, is a combination of tight leg muscles coupled with poor quad strength. There can be some more subtile issues at play as well, but that’s a good place to start.
What to do about it. Stretch your legs and strengthen your quads. If you aren’t stretching after your workouts, getting started might do wonders for you knees (among other things). As for strengthening your quads, running will do that over time, but additional activities like cycling or doing wall sits can jumpstart your progress.
Looking for advice on a running ailment or want to share the story of how you overcame one in the past? Drop a note in the comments and share your experience.
Update: For an overview of stretches to help with Runner’s Knee, check out Stretches for Runner’s Knee over on LiveStrong.com. They’ve also published 5 Stretches to Prevent Runner’s Knee. Thanks to reader Nichole for the request!