This injury prevention post is sponsored by ACE™ Brand; all opinions are my own
First off, running injuries stink. Okay, any injury stinks! Glad I cleared that up 😉
If you have had suffered from running injuries, you’re not alone: an estimated 70% of recreational and competitive runners will get some type of injury in a 12 month period, and around 40% of those are knee related (source). For me, unfortunately, I seem to get some injury or pulled muscle on a regular basis these days. A couple weeks ago it was a pulled hamstring from doing cartwheels with my kids, then today I tweaked my neck doing headstands, AND I have been battling runner’s knee for almost a year. I even went through a month of physical therapy for it…yikes.
I love being active, so I need to find ways to not only prevent injury, but also how to deal with injury (particularly runner’s knee) once it has started. Throughout my years of working out, running, Zumba-ing, weight lifting, and dealing with all kinds of tendinitis, I have found these things really help the most for working through runner’s knee while keeping your sanity:
- Get a running assessment: A running assessment can help you identify some foot-strike problems, foot and ankle mobility, hip movement, muscle imbalances, and more. You can get running assessments from physical therapists, running specialists, and kinesiologists. I have had 2 assessments done and they have been super helpful in helping identify problems in form that contribute to tendinitis and injury.
- Go shoe shopping! Yes, this official permission to go shoe shopping 😉 Once your assessment is done, get yourself some good shoes! Don’t be afraid to spend a bit of money on the right shoes for your feet and activity. If you are planning on working out and running a lot, cheap shoes from Wal-Mart probably won’t cut it.
- Chill out: Ice is your friend! Take some time to ice your knee after workouts. This helps reduce swelling in the area, which can speed healing. The ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandage with the new ACE™ Brand Clip is really nice for this: you can strap your ice pack to our knee and go, instead of sitting (unless you want to sit, then have at it!).
- Roll with it: Practice myofascial release and self massage whenever you can! Use a foam roller, a tennis ball, or stick to roll and rub out tension and adhesions in your connective tissues that could be causing imbalances. If foam rolling is uncomfortable, that means you really need it!
- Strengthen training: Weak hips and glutes can lead to all sorts of knee problems in runners! Squash that annoying knee pain by strength training your core, hips, and glutes. Most kinesiology and physical therapy experts agree that strength training is one of the best preventative measures for injuries.
- Get support: Consider compression sleeves, bands, and wraps like the elastic bandages from ACE™ Brand. Compression can help reduce inflammation and swelling, and can also help support tissues and joints. While compression shouldn’t replace strength training, it can be helpful when you need some help during injury recovery.
- Get physical: If your knee pain persists, it is always a great idea to get it looked at by a physical therapist or a doctor. You may have to stop doing the activities that bother your knee for a while to let it heal up, but in the end it’s worth it!
If you like icing your knee and using compression during recovery, then definitely check out the ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandages with the new ACE™ Brand Clip. ACE™ Brand has redesigned their clips so you don’t have to worry about snagging your clothes and it’s easy to adjust instead of fussing with the old metal clips. You can create a compressive wrap to help support your knee during your workout so you can keep giving 100%, or you can use it to help hold your ice pack in place during recovery. This is handy when you have a busy day at home and can’t or prefer not to sit down to ice your knee.
If you are battling injuries in other joints, like your elbow, ACE™ Brand makes a complete line of compression bandages and wraps, hot and cold therapy products, and lots of braces and supports for just about any injury. To address issues with the old metal clips, ACE™ Brand too customer feedback into consideration and redesigned their clips for their elastic bandages. You can check out some funny videos from ACE™ Brand on YouTube about their new clips with Arthur, ACE™ Brand Motivational Sportsgent. Check them out for a good laugh!
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