Why Your Running Form Matters To Prevent Knee Pain

Why Your Running Form Matters To Prevent Knee Pain

July 5, 2019

Nothing bothers me more than trying to get out for a run or start a routine and be held back because of pain. Are you having pain in your knee during or after running and can’t figure out why? It may be time to look at your running form. The way you run is as important as how your body moves and if you are running in a way that leads to over-stress, it could lead to discomfort.

Common Habits

A few key habits that I commonly see with people complaining of knee pain are where they land on their foot, how they stabilize their entire leg, and where their knee tracks while on it. Running is a series of graceful single leg hops and it is important to be able to land and propel yourself in a way that uses the optimal form so that any given joint or muscle group is not overstressed.

Correct Your Stance

Let’s start with how your foot hits the ground. Ideally, your foot should strike at about the middle of your foot so that you can absorb the force and transfer it into your push off. Many people fall into a heel strike or even a toe running pattern. Heel striking will create increased load and abnormal load in the knee because of how the ground force is absorbed through the leg. It could even create abnormal joint rubbing because of how your leg is reacting to the impact. When you toe run, it will put more tension on your calves and your quads and reduce the effectiveness of your hips in stabilizing and propelling you forward. The increased stress over time may lead to injury or discomfort.

Stabilize Your Legs

Leg stability would be next. While running you should have a nice and straight motion of your knee as you land and push forward. If you are lacking foot or hip stability that is going to lead to what is called knee valgus. This is when your knee buckles inward with each step. This may over-stress the inner muscle and ligaments because they are being stretched and overused. It could also create outer knee or patella (knee cap) discomfort because the joint is repetitively getting overloaded.

Watch Your Stride

Last, if your knee is going too far forward it could put increased stress on the knee cap and thigh muscles which over time may create discomfort or injury. A form where the knee does not pass over the toes as you are running is less likely to create these issues.

Ask a running buddy to look for these form habits to see if you are guilty of using them. Try to correct them with focus and exercises to promote good control including hopping without letting yourself fall into these positions.

Consult a Professional

If you want a trained eye and a more regimented plan to correct your faults try a FREE Discovery Visit to see how we can help you.

Request An Appointment

Please fill out this form and
we will contact you about scheduling.