Running is like an obsession to some people. They think of it as a form of catharsis because running a few miles unloads the burden from their shoulders. No doubt running is a great cardio exercise and has plenty of benefits up its sleeves. From improving cardiovascular health to strengthening muscles and bones, runners are able to not only blow off steam but also reap many physical health bonuses. When you run, you run with a mindset of giving your best. Truth be told, the adrenaline rush that you feel while running does not let you stop before arriving at your target. You are always trying to get there in the fastest time, and this passion never diminishes even with knee pain.
Unfortunately, most runners experience a kind of knee pain, known as runner’s knee, either due to overtraining or any other reason. Sometimes, athletes go overboard with their training, which leaves their muscles sore and increases their chance of injury. If you are one of those runners who feel niggling pain in the knees while doing your favourite activity, then don’t feel bad. You are not alone in this. According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, unplanned athletic movements involve higher knee seizures and increase the risk of a knee injury.
The injury rates for running are not necessarily high, but they are real. Sceptics point to joint problems and muscle injuries that can come from frequently pounding the pavement.
Source: Is Running Good or Bad for You?
If you have a runner's knee, then know that you have options to stay normal just by wrapping around some supporting knee braces coming below. Guess what these amazing support accessories are now increasingly popular among runners to mitigate the pain. Read on to know about knee braces, and how they help in treating knee pain. The later part of the blog will also focus on the use of knee braces. So, buckle up and have a fun time reading.
Reasons for Knee Pain While Running
Runner’s knee is a well-known problem among runners, and the most common reasons for embracing it are:
- Unfitting footwear
- Weak muscles
- Inadequate stretching
This is especially true for beginners who are ambitious to start cardio training, and running on the tracks seems like a charm to them. In their adrenaline rush, they often overdo training without taking necessary rests, which leads to knee pain while running because of the excessive strain on muscles.
What is a Knee Brace?
A knee brace mostly comes in an elastic and breathable fabric like neoprene, cotton, or polyester, and athletes wear them over their knees to prevent any possible injury or to give support to their knees. Not only knee brace acts as a shield against injury, but it also improves mobility so you can move without any discomfort.
“A brace generally applies pressure around different structures of the knee to try and help alleviate pain or provide support for the stability of the knee,” Lauren Borowski, M.D., sports medicine specialist at the Centre for Women’s Sports Health
Know Your Alternatives
Injuries happen in any athletic activity. It shouldn't be something that scares you to stop running or participating in other sports. With this being said, it is also crucial that you know what options you have available to treat your knee pain. A knee brace is easily available to everyone and is also effective in reducing pain, but what are the other options that can be utilized? Physical therapy from your physician, a proper rehabilitation program to recover from running injury, or strength training to enhance muscle mass and to protect your bone health – these options must be in your mind depending on a medical emergency.
Healing is a process and very much depends on the route you take. Keep in check your running form, mobility practices, and strength training routine to recover and avoid future injury. There is also research suggesting that hip weakness often is the cause behind knee pain in runners. While the specific aetiology is unidentified, a lack of hip strength is said to contribute to atypical running mechanics. That's where strength training is highly recommended because, with the help of it, you'll strengthen the glutes, which will allow the pelvic region to remain stable. This is a chief example of how resistance training and your running form can combine to avoid and reduce your knee pain.
Consult Your Physician
Your physician should be your primary resource in recommending you the right kind of knee support for running in case of knee pain or injury.
Even before inquiring about that, check with your doctor if he or she has cleared you to run. If you have been shown a green flag, and knee braces are suggested to you, there is a high possibility that the physician will recommend a particular brace based on your condition.
If you are simply looking for a knee brace for safety purposes, Xn8 Sports is making some high-quality breathable knee braces that you can wear without taking consultation from a doctor. They are constructed with safety, purpose and convenience in mind that also keep possible injury of your knees at bay.
Training Tips for Pain-Free Running Session
Everyone has a different fitness level which means the same training intensity and plan do not work for all. You have to understand your body’s mechanism before getting yourself into any fitness routine. If you are a complete beginner, pick a training plan that is tailored to your needs so you can prevent unnecessary stress on your muscles. Take things slowly. Enhance the complexity of your training gradually and make sure that you take breaks in between. If you don’t want to encounter a problem during a run, increase the intensity of your training session by ten percent every week. Athletes who have injured knees or any other health issue should enhance the training session by five percent only.
Use a Knee Brace
It is worth trying a knee brace if there is no acute injury involved and the pain has just started due to overtraining or some other reason. Because if you’ll ignore the pain, there will come a point, it will start meddling with your running and training routine.
You can also take advantage of the knee braces even if you didn't encounter an injury and only want to utilize them to provide support to your knees. You must have seen many athletes wearing knee support for this purpose. It is actually a great tool for high-level passionate athletes to guard against injury. A knee brace can be proved a solid transitory addition- along with physical therapy- to redress any underlying problems that have caused the knee pain in the first place.
Buy the Right Footwear
Though it is a least considered reason by many athletes, it can be proved fatal if neglected. Get your doctor to check the foot and leg alignment. Misalignment can be a reason that you are feeling difficulty in running, but it can be countered with appropriate footwear having insoles. Buy running shoes that have a cushion impact so that they provide support to your foot while running.
Find a Levelled Surface to Jog
Finding the right trail for running also comes in the running tips to avoid the possibility of knee pain. Hilly trails put considerably more stress on your knees, so when you jog down, the pressure on your knees is higher than on a levelled surface. That's why if you are getting back into running after a period of a break due to an injury, you must avoid bumpy trails. If part of the trail has changing height profile, you can reduce the strain on your knees by taking small steps.
Stretch and Strength Train
Taking a break from any physical activity for a while is central to the process of healing. Apply cold and hot compression to ease the surrounding tissues and to reduce the pain. If possible, try to raise your knees to lessen strain as much as you can. If you don't see any improvement, consult your physician. In case the pain subsides, try to engage yourself in stretching and strength training to build stronger muscles and ligaments.
When you run, muscles from your legs up to your hips are active. For better defence against injury, you need to train the muscles in the front and back of your thighs. Do weight training such as squats or one leg raise to make your muscles stronger. Stretching is just as important as strength training to prevent injuries because stiff calf and thigh muscles put stress on your knees, which causes knee pain.
Runner’s knee is quite common among athletes, and if you are feeling something like that while running, Xn8 Sports knee braces are there to help. Depending on the intensity of your pain and in which part of the knee you are specifically feeling it, choosing the right brace will help you feel the difference. Knee support is a great tool to fix the problem but taking consultation from your physician is a must for a long-term solution. Have a good look at your running form, your day-to-day movement, and complement it with other tips and tricks mentioned in this blog to run pain-free.