How To Protect Those Shock Absorbers

Did you know that up to 42% of running injuries are knee-related?

As track events started this week in the Olympic games, many of us may feel more motivated to head outdoors and go for a run. While running offers a range of benefits such as improved cardio fitness, stronger muscles, improved sleep and weight loss, it can also put a lot of pressure on your knees.  

The knees are one of the most important joints in the body as they absorb most of the impact when you walk, move, or run. According to Sports Medicine Australia, up to 70% of recreational and competitive runners sustain overuse injuries throughout a 12-month period, with 42% of those injuries knee-related often being runner’s knee. 

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome also known as Runner’s Knee is when the kneecap rubs against the thighbone whilst you move. At first, the pain may be slight, however then your knee starts to become stiffer and give way every now and there. The pain and stiffness surrounding runners’ knees are often dull however can gradually increase and if left untreated, can cause significant damage to your kneecap joints. 

The repetitive impact of running, lack of foot support and overuse of activity or duration are all contributing factors of Runner’s Knee. As we see more people running to get their daily dose of exercise, we may see an increase in knee pain. With that said, here are some ways to protect those shock absorbers while you run! 

Warm Up  

A short five-minute warm up followed by some stretching of the muscles can greatly reduce the risk of injury and pain to the knee. Focus on stretching the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves as allowing these muscles to warm up before running will greatly reduce the stress on the knee.  

Shoe Choice  

It’s always better to prevent a knee injury from the outside in, that’s why your shoe choice is important. When it comes to footwear, there are endless choices to pick from that’s why we recommended that you invest in good quality shoes that are specifically designed to suit your foot shape and size. Don’t rely on a softly cushioned shoe to absorb most of the shock as these shoes can exacerbate the knee. A quality shoe that fits properly and is comfortable will be the best choice for you while running.  

Form  

Often while running, runners overstride and straighten their knees as they land, creating an incredible amount of impact to the knees. By keeping your knees bent, this will allow you to land softly and reduce the shock impact to the knees.  

Activating your core muscles can significantly improve your form and posture when running. Keeping your core tight will prevent you from leaning too far forwards or backwards which will ultimately put less pressure on those shock absorbers.  

An assessment and treatment from the team at Progressive Sport and Spinal Physiotherapy could help you delay or avoid surgery. If you are starting to experience muscle aches or pain, don’t wait! Contact the practice today on (02)47217798, email info@progressiverehab.com.au or book your appointment online here. 

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, working in the cardiac rehabilitation program, heart failure service and mental health unit at Nepean Hospital. And at the ACU Exercise and Lifestyle Clinic working with clients with neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since graduating, Andrea enjoys working with a variety of clients. She has a particular interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries and neurological conditions, striving to help people increase their functional capacity to get them back to work, sport or the things they love doing.