How to Identify Knee Injury and Select a Proper Brace for Running

Women Running

When speaking of knee pads for running, it is very important to point out the fact that these are not a fashion accessory, nor an element that every runner should use. They are primarily a therapeutic element that only people with a knee injury should use after consulting the professionals.

However, it is undeniable that in cases of injuries, knee pads for running can be an element that helps significantly at the time of recovery, but for this, we must follow the medical indications and know well the function of a knee brace for running. When a runner suffers an injury, his interest is undoubted to recover quickly and to be to completely recover lost time and get to train thoroughly.

A brace will always be a complement to medical treatment. Never leave or ignore the recommendations of your doctor or your physiotherapist once you obtain a knee injury.

Knee Injuries Facing Runners

Girl with hurt knee on grass

It is very common in the runner’s world that the knee injury at some point occurs. These types of injuries sometimes seem inevitable for those who make running their main hobby or even a professional activity. 

According to prominent online knee brace retailer of the best-hinged knee braces, many runners have met the obligation to stop for a while due to pain in a knee or the concern that a small discomfort can lead to more serious health problems. Of course, this situation should never discourage you.

Beyond the fact that there are studies that show that 30 to 50 percent of runners will face some type of injury during a year of training, it must be considered that they are not medically unavoidable or intractable when they occur. Among the different injuries that may occur, one in four involves the knee, so it is this part of the body that is considered most sensitive for runners.

Types of Knee Injuries

Types of knee injuries

Knee injuries do not come directly just from the fact that you are running. The likelihood of an injury from excess “use” of the knees when running is influenced by external factors such as training problems, the characteristics of the surface on which you were running, or even specific anatomical problems of each runner. 

In fact, runners with more experience that are advised by expert coaches face fewer injuries. This is because they learn to listen to their own body and avoid making training mistakes that can trigger an injury. In addition, experienced runners already know how to control the impact and muscle stress that arise while running.

Another factor that greatly affects the likelihood of having a knee injury is having a medical history in this regard. A previous injury can lead to a new injury, hence the importance of obeying the therapeutic indications of recovery and rehabilitation when suffering an injury, because this is the best way to prevent future injuries: taking the time for a complete rehabilitation is crucial to avoid a relapse into the injury later on.

The Most Common Types of Injury That Runners Can Suffer in Their Knees Are:

1. Runner’s Knee or Patellofemoral Pain

This pain is the most frequent injury of the runners. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is defined as a pain in the lower part of the patella. It can develop due to the rubbing of the kneecap with the thigh bone or femur when the knee is moved. A displacement of the patella can also cause this syndrome. The important role of the kneecap in the action of running is evident, and it is the one that receives the impact of eight times the body when the running effort is made. This injury manifests itself with a pain that radiates from the patella after running. Obviously, not only runners suffer from it, but they just suffer from this condition more frequently than other people.

2. Tibial Periostitis

Another common injury in those who run constantly is tibial periostitis, which consists of inflammation of the membrane that covers the tibia. This membrane is called periosteum. When the runners train with more intensity, the impact of the foot against the ground causes the contraction effort of the muscle to vibrate against the union of the bone, inflaming it. A posterior or anterior tibial periostitis may occur, the latter being the most frequent. It manifests with pain in the lower part of the tibia, reaching the knee with a very sharp and painful response.

3. Chondromalacia

It is the softening or the wear of the cartilage, which in turn causes the kneecap and the muscle to rub against each other, which generates a very sharp pain, similar to the sensation of having the pinched muscle. It causes a displacement of the patella towards the outside (in exceptional cases towards the inside). It is a serious injury that may require surgery.

4. Patellar Tendinopathy

This injury is commonly known as “jumper’s knee”. It is an inflammation of the patellar tendon that is found as a link between the patella and the tibia, in the back of the knee. It is the tendon that allows the extension movements in this part of the leg. Many times the runners who train on a surface that is too hard or those who rapidly increasing the tempo of training suffer from this condition.

So, How Does a Knee Brace Even Work?

Knee brace

As we said at the beginning, a knee brace will not magically solve a pain in the knee when training or running, and above all, its use should be indicated and supervised by a specialized professional. However, knee braces are useful in the recovery of an injury because they help the knee to function properly, especially for runners who have done this type of physical activity for a long period of time.

The knee pads for running reduce the pain and give structural support after an injury. They are a complement to rehabilitation exercises but can never replace them. They are also an inseparable companion of those runners who have suffered a serious injury or who have some kind of chronic problem in the knee.

Care for a Runner’s Knees When There Is No Injury

Football players

A specialized health professional is the most indicated to prescribe the use of the correct knee brace. Therefore, when it comes to feeling pain in a knee when running, it is best to go to the doctor as soon as possible. This will determine the treatment to be followed, if it is necessary (or not) to rest, rehabilitation, take anti-inflammatories (or not) and the type of brace that can help solve the problem.

The knees are usually a part of the body subjected to great stress and strong tension. These increase in the case of people who run (or who practice “running”).

As we have already said, knee pads for running should only be used in case of injury, as elements that help in the quick recovery of the athlete, but they are not advisable in the normal and daily practice of other sports activities. They are excellent to help in recovery therapy and to allow an injured knee to return to its natural conditions, but they should never be used when you have a need to tighten your knee area just because you think that it will make your knees feel better.

What to Do to Take Care of a Healthy Knee? 

Knee masage

The first recommendation would be to trust and help the muscles do their job. To properly strengthen the muscles and tendons of the calf and knee is the only good way to protect the knees when running. Another thing that needs to be considered, is to properly choose running shoes. If we really get into this sport in depth, it happens just like with knee pads for running. The best thing is to consult with a professional to choose the best footwear and one that suits your specific physical needs.

As part of a healthy training and therefore preventive of possible injuries, it is also important to alternate the type of surface on which it runs: cement, soil, and grass. You have to vary the training time and the surface on which you run to protect the muscles.

Finally, a great recommendation of all the medical sports specialists is to do stretching before and after sports practice and perform cold therapies, or better yet, contrast therapies alternating hot and cold if we begin to notice any discomfort. Cooling the muscle always helps prevent injuries and taking your time to properly rest after the exercise ensures that you won’t overload your muscles.

About Xara

Whenever there is doubt about your next move in life and how to change styles in connection with your personality I will be there. You can call me Xara and I will present to you ideas for a new hobby or possibly simple advice about your next move in life.