The most popular sport in Germany is jogging. Approximately ten million people regularly go outside to run faster. After all, it is well known: Jogging is healthy for the heart and circulation, keeps the figure in shape and is good for the balance between body and mind.
But here, too, sport must be performed correctly and in a controlled manner. Excessive sport units without structure and coordination have a long-term negative effect on the musculoskeletal system. If muscles, bones, joints, tendons and ligaments are overloaded by incorrect movement sequences, the body sooner or later reports back with pain and blockages. Every tenth jogger complains of knee pain, which becomes noticeable when starting or ending the excercises.
If the complaints persist, there is a fault in the anatomy or in the movement sequences, which should be performed differently from body to body. Every physique is different and must be considered individually. Depending on height, weight and statics, stretching exercises, endurance and strength training should be approached differently. Knee problems, which are associated with wear and tear and pain, occur above all when the body is not well prepared for the sport. If muscles, bones, joints, tendons and ligaments are overloaded, the body sooner or later reports back with knee pain and other impairments.
The causes of knee pain
The knee joint consists of the thigh bone (femur), the shin bone (tibia) and the kneecap (patella), with the kneecap resting on the patella tendon of the thigh bone. When walking, the patella moves up again and again to beyond the edge of the thigh bone and back again. Ideally, the movement is smooth, so that no excessive friction occurs. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Athletes often complain about complaints that occur on the inside, outside, front or back of the knee. Locating and examining the painful areas can provide information about anatomical or movement-related causes so that specific countermeasures can be taken.
Stretching, strength, endurance exercises as preparation for jogging
Joggers often tend to lean into the sport without preparing themselves properly. It is highly recommended to get the joints and muscles going by means of stretching and coordination exercises before starting to run fast. Especially when jogging, the leg muscles should be trained and strengthened to avoid overloading the body, but especially the knees. Both when warming up and when running, the following applies: the more careful, the better.
With a light tempo at the beginning, for example by walking slowly, the body can warm up first, before it switches to power mode. Strong inclines and obstacles should be avoided at the beginning, because not only the muscles but also the bones, joints, tendons and ligaments need time to get used to greater effort and strain. Only controlled movement and posture patterns that build on each other keep the body permanently in motion and make it fit for regular sport.
Create balance between muscles and joints
The healthy knee joint makes it possible to move the knee inwards or outwards without any problems in the form of bending, stretching or turning. If the kneecap does not rest centrally and does not move centrally of the slide bearing, it rubs against the thigh bone and wear and tear occurs. Runners may experience an imbalance between the back thigh muscles and thigh extensors located in the front. While the thigh muscles are usually well developed, the thigh extensors often fall by the wayside As a result, the kneecap is pushed to one side and there is more friction on the knee joint. The pain often occurs in the front part of the knee and, in the worst case, is not only felt when running or jogging, but also in normal everyday life.
Physiotherapists analyse the individual athlete’s ability to cope with stress, performance or movement and provide information about the condition of the individual joints. An optimisation of running style for example can not only relieve pain, but also prepare the body for further sport.
Incorrect foot or leg positions as a cause of knee pain
Knee pain does not necessarily have to be attributed to incorrect movement patterns or a lack of preparation for sport. Hereditary anatomical peculiarities can also lead to impairments that sufferers often cannot explain to themselves. The cause of knee pain may also be a malposition of the legs or feet. In the case of flat feet or splay feet, bow legs or bow legs, there is a risk of wear and tear to the sensitive knee joint, which – whether long or short – returns with pain.
A thorough examination of the legs as well as a foot analysis by a physiotherapist reveals abnormalities that would otherwise not have been noticed for years. Only when the foot rolls off in a controlled manner a flat arch of the foot, which is common with flat feet, can be noticed. An examination can also provide information on the extent to which the development of knock-knees or bow legs could affect the entire body. An individual consultation and a recommendation for insoles as well as specific movement exercises to counteract defective positions help to protect the knees, but also the spine and pelvis in the long term.
Goodbye knee pain!
Knee pain can have many different causes. It is therefore advisable to consult a physiotherapist who can localise the cause of the knee pain, even for minor new complaints. In this way, the reasons for the pain can be determined and individual measures can be taken to protect against friction, wear and tear.
In any case, a physiotherapist can initiate movement exercises that can alleviate discomfort and get the body moving permanently. With the right equipment and optimal movement patterns, the body is fit for the sport and jogging is twice as much fun.
On your mark, get set, go!