Having knee problems?
Fear not... keep reading for my 6 top tips on how to get those knees back on track and pain free.
We’ve all been there. Whether it's a marathon that's coming up, and the pressure's on to get a PB, or it could be that you're running for a charity and just “don't have time to get injured” because you need to raise a serious amount of money, and you can't let them down.
Can running be stressful? Sure it can...
Well, not exactly, but we all have our goals and become incredibly upset and frustrated if knee pain gets in the way.
So how to stop the pain... and prevent any farther onset of knee pain?
Here are my 6 simple points that you need to look at:
1. Wear the correct running shoes for YOU!
Your best friend may have the latest Nikes or Hokas or Vibrams, but we were not all made the same. It's imperative that you get yourself to a specialist running shop. Here at Run and Become, we offer our free Natural Gait Analysis. How does this help your knees? If your shoes are not supporting you with the correct cushioning and stability, then you're putting extra pressure on the muscles... basically asking way too much of them, which in turn makes them tight. This tightness works its way to the muscles around the knee, and hey presto... you are blessed with knee pain.
2. Get rolling
I'm a great believer in The Grid. Honestly, every runner should have one of these, and use it in conjunction with their training. Used twice a day for a week it can work miracles. It's a great self-massage tool. Don't believe me... find out for yourself. Come in store and try one out. Instead of me going on and on about this little miracle worker, check out this short video on how to get the most out of your Grid.
3. R.I.C.E i.e. Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation.
- Rest. In a way, I'd say that the most challenging of these is the 'rest' part. As a runner it takes courage and determination to rest. Does it mean... put your feet up and be waited on hand and foot? Ideally, yes :) However, sadly this isn't always possible. So instead of running, take the opportunity to use your Grid, or go for a massage.
- Ice. Frozen peas? Sure! But if you are looking for something else in case you feel like a mash and pea supper, try these great ice packs. Basically, get the blood rushing to that area and it will speed up recovery, and who's going to argue with that?
- Compression. Another aid to get that blood pumping. Check out all our compression gear.
- Elevation. Alert your fellow passengers on the bus and tube, that you need a couple of extra seats so you can put your feet up... I'm sure they'll understand ;)
4. Cross Training
One of the physios who we work with, Barry Crane, tells the great story of how he got his best marathon time by cross training and hardly running, due to being injured. Not ideal, but it shows it's possible as a last resort. I'm a great believer in working the body in other ways, besides just running as good injury-prevention. I recently took up ballet. A class per week is great for strength and conditioning, plus it's always fun to do something new.
5. CHANGE your running shoes BEFORE they’ve had it
This is uber important! I can't tell you how many runners I see every week who’ve got an old knee injury back, precisely because their shoes have lost their cushioning and support. The shock travels back up the legs. Why does this cause knee pain? Because lack of cushioning = tight muscles, which turns into knee pain. But how do you know if your shoes have had it? I'll explain all here.
6. Find a Physiotherapist
If you’ve done all of the above, and still you're in pain, then make an appointment with a good physio. To make your life easier here are links to physios that we can highly recommend:
London Barry Crane
Edinburgh Guy Van Herp
Cardiff Loretta Daley
Finally, if you’ve tried everything under the sun, and still you are in pain, be it in the knee or any part of your body... I would highly recommend you check out Georgie Oldfield's book, Chronic Pain: Your Key To Recovery.
Georgie gave an inspirational and educational talk in our London shop. I used to suffer from persistent knee, foot and back pain. I'm now completely pain free and running happily, and I owe it to Georgie.
Good luck with your training, and I hope these tips are helpful.
Happy Running :)