Routine exercise is an important factor in maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. Running provides a vast amount of benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased metabolism, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.
Yet like all forms of exercise, there is the possibility of injury. Studies have shown that up to 70 percent of runners sustain a running-related injury each year, with runner’s knee being the most prevailing knee injury. Fortunately, stretching for runner’s knee can alleviate painful symptoms and prevent further injury in the future.
Runner’s knee is a common knee injury that afflicts more than just runners. One reason the condition is so common is that it’s not related to one specific type of injury, but rather a term that describes several knee conditions.
Runner’s knee is medically called patellofemoral pain syndrome. This condition involves dull, aching pain that is centered around your kneecap or at the front of your knee. In many cases, the pain can intensify when walking up or down steps, sitting with a bent knee for long periods, and kneeling or squatting.
While this condition is common, it can be preventable through rest, appropriate stretches and using knee braces.
Understanding the causes of runner’s knee will help you prevent injury to your knees. The most common causes of runner’s knee are:
You have a higher risk of developing runner’s knee if you:
Stretching for runner’s knee is an effective treatment that can prevent further knee injuries. Stretching regularly will increase your flexibility and strength in your hips, knees, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Here are five of the best runner’s knee stretches that you can do to treat and prevent runner’s knee.
Knee bends are a great stretching exercise that strengthens the muscles surrounding your knee to provide additional support.
Start by standing against the wall with your feet about a foot forward. Your knees should be hip-width apart. If you have an exercise ball, place the ball between your back and the wall for better movement. Next, slide your back down slowly until your knees are slightly bent. As you come up, tense your buttocks and make sure that your movements are slow. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions for best results.
Ready for leg day? Squats strengthen the muscles in your hips and legs, providing stability to your knees. To perform a squat, stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees to a slight right angle as you lower yourself while keeping your back straight. Then, squeeze your buttocks as you slowly rise back up to your starting position. Aim for three sets of 10 repetitions.
Place the heel of the affected leg on a stool that is around 15 inches high. Keep your leg as straight as possible as you lean forward while bending at the hips. Make sure that you avoid bending at the waist or rolling your shoulders as doing so will target the muscles in your back instead of your hamstrings. Hold this stretch for up to 30 seconds with three repetitions.
Lie on the side that is not impacted by runner’s knee. While keeping your body as straight as possible, tighten your injured leg’s front thigh muscles as you lift your leg up to ten inches away from your uninjured leg. Hold the position for a few seconds before slowly lowering your leg again. Perform two sets of 15 repetitions.
Lie on your back and keep your legs straight in front of you. Bend your uninjured knee and place the foot of that leg flat on the floor. Keep the rest of your body as straight as possible while tightening the thigh muscles on your injured side. Next, lift your injured leg around eight inches from the floor before you slowly lower it back down. Perform two sets of 15 repetitions.
Stretches for runner’s knee can be used with other forms of treatment to provide faster relief. Knee straps can be used in addition to targeted runner’s knee stretches to treat and prevent runner’s knee.
Alleviates pain and discomfort caused by several knee conditions, including:
The Cho-Pat Original Knee Strap improves mobility and provides lasting comfort and support. This knee strap guides the knee cap and spreads pressure uniformly.
It combines warmth, compression, and reinforcement to help reduce pain and discomfort in the knee and enhance healing.
It helps to maintain body warmth, improve blood circulation, and give support to the knee - all of which pay a role in recovery.