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Runner's Knee: Treatment and Stretches

20 July 2015

Runner’s Knee is no run in the park, but if you’ve found yourself suffering from this condition then don’t be too downhearted - treatment of Runner’s Knee has the silver lining of reconditioning your body to run at its best. By targeting the problem areas such as the pelvis and thighs, the targeted exercise routine used to cure sore knees ultimately stands you in better stead for all your future activities.

Resting Runner’s Knee

As with any foot or leg condition that is giving you pain, a period of rest and relaxation will only ever be a good thing. Avoid pushing through the pain if runner’s knee has come to affect your exercise routine, as ploughing through on imbalanced legs will only make things worse. Instead, the good old fashioned home treatments will help your relieve your knees from pain and discomfort:

  • Ice packs will help reduce swelling and pain, a bag of frozen peas will do
  • Compression around the knee will also reduce swelling but also give your joint some much-needed support
  • Rest should help take the edge of the worst of your pain, allow your sore knee a few days without bearing too much weight
  • Wearing an insole can help relieve pain and help optimise your stance as you recover from Runner’s Knee

Once your knee has begun to feel better and come through the worst, you can start looking to heal the cause of its problems, and with Runner’s Knee so often being a wake-up call of a poor running gait, you’re long term health can even stand to benefit from correcting the culprits of this short-term ache.

Stretch It Out

A few simple stretches can help address the pain and cause of Runner’s Knee while stopping the joint from becoming weak or stiff and also strengthening the surrounding muscles which are essential for healthy workings of the knee once recovered. Always undertake exercise in suitable shoes fitted with supportive insoles. A cycle of 10 of these stretches is a good amount to aim for as you ease into recovery and will help condition the problem areas of your running style.

Quadriceps and Hip Flexors Roll

A nice one to start off with, this stretch even let’s you lie down the whole time! You will require a foam roller for this technique to help massage your thighs.

Lie face down with you weight supported on your elbows and the roller under your thighs, simply roll back and forth so that the roller is working up and down your thighs, no higher than your hips and no lower than your knees. For a more advanced stretch, cross your legs so that only one thigh is balanced on the roller before switching sides.

Prisoner Squat

Don’t be a prisoner to knee pain with this simple squat. 

Standing as tall as you can, position your feet to that they are aligned with your shoulders, place your hands behind your head and slowly lower yourself down as low as you can go before pushing back up to a standing position. A well-executed squat will have your hips pushing back as your knees bend. Don’t force yourself to push your limits, remember these stretches are about gentle recovery, not rigorous work-outs.

Walking Lunge

Prepare to join the Ministry of Silly Walks with this seriously effective lunge.

Start in a standing position, and perform a normal lunge with one foot forward and your knees bent, once in position do not return to stand but push forward on your rear foot as you would push off when walking. Ten of these lunges should see you migrate slowly but surely across the room, get yourself back with some equally as effective reversed lunges. 

Mountain Climbers

Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill, Runner’s Knee will soon be a thing of the past with a few good stretches. For this position you may use a bench as your base, but the ground is just as good.

Position yourself as if you were about to perform a press-up with your arms straight either on the ground or against your bench. Lift your right foot and raise your knee as close to your chest as you can manage, lower it to the ground and then return it to its starting position, repeat with your left foot. Go as fast as you can to feel the full benefit of this stretch.

Visit Shoe Insoles for a range of insoles designed to combat knee pain and Runner’s Knee.

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