Most runners – particularly those who log lots of training miles or who compete at long distances – have experienced knee pain at one time or another. For some, ice packs are part of every post-run routine. Others put mind over matter, and just wait for the pain to pass – until the next run.
A better solution would be to prevent the discomfort altogether, and the best way to support your knees for running is to stabilize the knee joint to ensure efficient, forward movement.
When running or walking, our feet, ankles, knees, and hips work together to propel us forward. If one part of the body is weak or injured, or if we train with poor form, we run the risk of throwing our natural cadence off, and invite problems throughout our system of movement.
If you’re experiencing knee pain after training or racing, there’s no need to accept discomfort as part of the drill. Take steps to improve your form. Consult with a trainer, coach, or sports medicine specialist to assess your gait and form, then work to resolve any issues. Ask your trainer to recommend a stabilizing exercise regimen to prevent or alleviate knee pain associated with running. If you don’t have access to professional help, look to resources like Runner’s World for classic stabilizing exercises that can help save your knees and ankles.
When used properly, kinesiology tape and knee braces can also provide much needed support and stability, especially when recovering from an injury or from overuse. Acute injuries require professional attention and treatment of course, as does chronic joint pain. Your doctor or trainer can recommend the right amount of compression, and advise you how and when to use a knee brace. For a little extra support during vigorous training, OTC knee braces can provide the stability you need to take care of your knees.
If your knees are healthy and pain-free, and you want to keep them that way, be proactive with stabilizing exercises designed to strengthen the muscles and tendons associated with the knee joint. Strong connective tissue provides the absolute best knee support for running.