At Carolina Rehab, our therapists treat pain due to a variety of reasons – including arthritis. Many times we find the pain is from misuse or overuse. Physical therapy can help strengthen the soft tissues surrounding the joints, address the biomechanics of movement, and address all over health.
If you are experiencing knee pain, there are many reasons why you could be experiencing knee pain that doesn’t involve arthritis. In fact, running can be your best defense against arthritis.
So if it isn’t arthritis — what really causes knee pain in runners?
In most cases, it’s simply a bio-mechanical issue that goes unaddressed over time. But the GOOD news is that once identified, these issues can actually be fixed with proper education and strengthening.
There are three common factors that are not arthritis but are common for being the culprit of knee pain:
- Ankle Mobility – If you have poor ankle mobility, it can impact the knee since there will be excessive forces that hit your knee. When this happens, it can cause the knee to flex, rotate, or tilt. Preventing long term damage by improving your ankle mobility will save possible damage to your joints, tendons, and ligaments.
- Weak Hips and Thighs – To develop yourself as a runner, you have to incorporate strength training into your regimen. Protecting your needs means to develop balanced strength in your thighs and hips. Stabilizing your patella by engaging the quadriceps and hamstring also plays a crucial role in protecting your knees. If you feel that you have “wear and tear” in your knees, it is most likely from the loss of strength around knees that is causing wear and tear.
- Unstable Core – Much like ankle stability, your core is key for maintaining good balance and rhythm. Your speed, power, and stamina is from your core and glutes. Without a strong core, your leg muscles and knee joints will be stiffer and not have the endurance to sustain you.
As you get older, it is normal to develop arthritis. There are different treatments, along with physical therapy, to decrease the inflammation and address any of the biomechanical issues mentioned above. Running is an important part of maintaining the active lifestyle you love and the specialist at Carolina Rehab will help you get back to being active.
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