Dr. Burke’s 3 Tips for Knee-Safe Running

These days, you may see a lot more people outside jogging than ever before. More people are embracing running for both physical and mental fitness. A regular running routine is fantastic, but it is vital to ensure that it is performed safely, especially for those prone to joint pain. So, let’s take a moment to go over what our specialists in orthopedics recommend as three key components for safe running practices and the prevention of injury.

Knee Taping/Compression Gear

A very effective way you can provide support for your knees when running is using knee taping or compression gear. These provide stability to the knee joint, which reduces the risk of injury. Dr. Burke recommends incorporating knee taping or wearing compression sleeves into your running routine if you experience knee pain or have undergone knee-specific orthopedic procedures like MACI or stem cell therapy.

Knee taping stabilizes the kneecap and allows surrounding structures to work more efficiently by providing feedback to muscles and encouraging them to contract and move in the precise direction. Taping also helps to enhance your body's awareness of joint positioning and movement. Compression gear provides stability to the knee joint as well, and also promotes blood circulation and reduces swelling. This aids in recovery after exercise.

If you are a runner with a history of knee pain, investing in high-quality compression gear or consulting with a physical therapist for proper taping techniques can make a world of difference in reducing joint pain both during running and after.

Orthopedic Friendly Shoes

Choosing proper footwear is key for runners. There is a reason that shoe stores exist that are specifically geared towards runners. Orthopedic-friendly shoes provide support and cushioning tailored to your individual needs. This reduces the impact on the knees and other structures in the lower extremities and throughout the whole body during each stride.

You should always prioritize comfort, fit, and support when selecting running shoes. Doing so will mitigate the risk of exacerbating existing knee pain or causing another pain to arise. Also, consider models with features such as arch support and motion control to promote proper alignment that is custom to the needs of your feet. All of this will reduce stress on the knees. Regularly replacing worn-out shoes is essential to make sure that your knees have continued support and injury prevention. A good rule of thumb is to replace your running shoes every 300-500 miles.

Run on an even surface

The surface you run on greatly impacts how much stress your knees and joints absorb. Choosing an even terrain helps distribute the pounding forces from running more evenly throughout your lower extremities and reduces the strain on your knees.

Whenever possible, try choosing softer, well-maintained surfaces like grass, rubber tracks, or designated running paths. Also, incorporating cross-training activities like swimming or cycling into your routine can provide a welcome break for your knees from the repetitive stress of running while still maintaining cardiovascular fitness and supporting overall joint health.

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