Continuing on from our last post about knee pain when running, here are factors physiotherapists consider regarding your flexibility, strength, training and your running technique.
Have there been any recent changes to your training? Often we find in our runners complaining of a new bout of knee pain, some kind of significant change to their training in the weeks prior. This can range from the more obvious factors – a jump in mileage, new shoes, to seemingly innocuous factors – a change in the surface run on, more hills. This isn’t limited to the gym though – suddenly including or dropping off certain exercises in the gym can often be a cause of knee pain in runners.
Flexibility and Strength
Deficits in the flexibility and strength of the muscles around not only your knee, but also your ankles, feet, and hips are a large risk factor developing knee pain. For example, a stiff lower back, tight hips or weak hamstrings and glutes may cause you to heel strike in front of your body and load up your kneecap more. Weak glutes can also cause your knee to roll in when you run – a very common cause of knee pain.
No two people will run the same, but there are general technical faults that can play a large role in their knee pain, for example overstriding, or allowing the knee to collapse inwards at heel strike or even over-rotating through the torso. Often these technical faults can be corrected with coaching and running drills alone, other times specific strength and flexibility drills are needed to fix these faults and fix the runner’s pain.
So, for those you runners out there with sore knees, start to have a think about these factors and you might find yourself unraveling the mystery of your knee pain yourself!
Stay tuned for our future blog post on things you can try to improve your knee pain.