How to Prevent Knee Injuries While Running

Running is a great form of exercise, but it can also be pretty hard on your knees. While some people have taken to walking instead of running, others still find it necessary to engage in running for a variety of reasons. There’s no reason you can’t still run as long as you are careful to take certain steps to help prevent knee injuries from occurring.

Running is often blamed for causing knee injuries, but the truth is that it’s the way people run that causes these problems. Changing your running technique can make it safer on your knees and provide less impact which reduces the chances of developing knee problems.

  • Avoid Heel Strikes – Over-striding can result in letting your feet get ahead of you and hitting the ground with your heels. Try to stay ahead of your feet and allow your legs to swing behind you and not forward. When your feet land in front of you it’s like putting the brakes on with every foot strike. That shock goes straight up to your knees which aren’t designed to be shock absorbers.

  • Don’t Pick Up Your Knees – Some experts will tell you to pick up your knees and reach forward to give you a longer stride. This will result in those heel strikes previously mentioned, so keep your knees down and heels up.

Now that you know a couple of things not to do while running, here are some helpful tips on what you can do to improve your stride.

  • Land on your midfoot by leaning forward from your ankles.

  • Keep your knees bent and soft during the landing and supporting stages of your stride.

  • Point your feet in the direction that you are running.

You might not need to eliminate running altogether if you can learn how to run more efficiently so that the exercise is easier on your knees. For more information, contact The Knee Institute at 248-509-8630.