Dr. Frank Collier is a board-certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician and Pain Management Specialist who specializes in the treatment of injuries and illnesses that affect how people move and function while living with pain.VIEW FULL BIO
According to statistical survey data, there are approximately 40 million “runners” in the United States alone. This is based on data collected from 2012 to 2014, and includes people who actively consider themselves regular runners, and who participate in running events, like races, at least once per year.
Of those 40 million Americans, it is hard to say how many have had proper training when it comes to running. A lot of people think that learning how to run is a problem for discipline and endurance. The trick is to wake up and do it and push through the pain. But in reality, running has a certain art form to it. The greatest runners know exactly how they are supposed to move their bodies to deliver the best results, and this includes how to reduce their risk of a running injury.
Preventing Knee Pain with the Right Form
Knowing how to run the right way can significantly reduce your risk of developing a running injury. One of the biggest complaints among runners is knee pain, and often the culprit for this pain isn’t a result of running, per se, but instead is a result of running the wrong way. Correcting your running technique can reduce your risk of injury and help alleviate knee pain.
The first thing to know about running form is that striking the heel is unnecessary and unwise. If you let your feet get too far ahead of you, then you are likely to pull the full force of your body down on your heel at every step, and this will deliver a shock wave through your body. If you are hitting the ground with your heel, then the first thing to change is your stride. Try dissipating where you are landing throughout your foot and use your toes as your primary push-off point.
Another thing to avoid is lifting your knees too far when you are running. This causes your leg to swing forward and makes it more likely that you will hit the ground with your heel. Instead, keep your knees swinging low as this will give you the most control with every motion.
When you do go out for your run, remember to lean forward slightly to give your body a forward momentum, to keep your knees soft and bent during the landing of each foot and to always keep your feet pointed in the direction you are running. Following these simple strategies can help you reduce your risk of a running injury, and might even give you that boost in speed and endurance you’ve been looking for.
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