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What is Runner's Knee?

Running Coach Certification

For trainers who have a physical fitness career, you will most likely see a client who has experienced runner’s knee at some point. Runner’s knee is a chronic pain and inflammation in the knee joint that can be caused from a variety of different issues that doesn’t seem to go away no matter what you do. Trying to find the cause of the pain in the knee joint can be tricky, but once you identify the problem, it can be a preventable and manageable issue. Here are some of the most common causes of runner’s knee and ways to manage/prevent the chronic aches and pains associated with it:

  1. Poor form. Having poor form can cause strain in the muscles and pain in the joints and inflammation that could be diagnosed as runner’s knee. Having bad form is something that can be worked on with proper training. Take advantage of a personal training special at a fitness center near you and have a fitness professional critique your form and help you make improvements.  
  2. Wearing the wrong shoes. Shoes are one of the easiest problems to correct.  Many individuals wear the wrong size, wrong style, or wrong fit because they don’t know how a running shoe should fit. Running shoes normally are worn an entire size bigger to allow room for feet to expand while running and for extra space in the toe box when running downhill. If you are a runner that is constantly losing toe nails, try going up a size in your shoes to give yourself some extra space. New runners should be wearing a stability shoe with plenty of arch support and cushion. Many local running stores will offer free custom shoe fittings to help clients make sure that they are wearing proper shoes for the type of terrain and distance they are running.
  3. Increasing your mileage too much too fast. Typical rule of thumb is to increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10% each week. If you ran 10 miles total last week, you can safely increase your mileage to 11 miles the following week. If you tried to increase too much mileage and tried to run 15 miles, you would greatly increase your risk of injury including runner’s knee.
  4. Cross Training for active recovery. Everyone needs an active recovery day to keep the muscles loosened up yet gives them time to heal. Stability ball and standing disc exercises can be done to improve functional fitness and stability which will strengthen your running.
  5. Don’t forget to stretch. Stretching can help improve flexibility and improve recovery time after challenging workouts. Fitness training software can help running coaches and personal trainers design a stretching routine that will be unique to your personal needs and can help stretch out the supporting muscles around the knee to help prevent runner’s knee.  

Running Coach Certification