Knee pain is one of the most common complaints runner's experience. PFPS- patella femoral pain syndrome, commonly called runner's knee, is the most common diagnosis. Here are the top five interventions you can incorporate into your training to correct your form and avoid future set backs.
Stretch your hip flexors
Running requires your gluteals to contract to support the hip in stance phase and move into triple extension. If your hip flexors are tight, this muscle will try to stabilize the hip in stance, but it will block the hip extensors from firing. Stretching your hip flexors, can help your gluteals fire.
Activate your gluteals
Warm up your gluteals by doing a few single leg dead lifts prior to running. Other exercises that can help with gluteal firing and control include stabilization step downs and double & single leg squats. Form is everything with these exercises- make sure your knee is aligned with your second toe and it stays behind the toes. You don't want the knee buckling in with these exercises or running.
Avoid errors in training
Most injuries are related to overuse or error in training. Changing up your mileage or pace too quickly can lead to fatigue and poor running form. While training, try to focus on one aspect of training ( distance, speed etc) and never change up the training more than 30%.
Lean into it
While you are running, try leaning forward 7-10 degrees. Research shows this decreases the compression behind the patella/ knee cap. This modification will lead shortening your stride length and increasing your cadence, which lead to an overall decrease in ground reaction forces.
If these "fixes" don't provide necessary relief, make an appointment for a running analysis to identify your specific issues. Optimize your running and prevent future injuries! Call today!