Much has been said about whether running has net beneficial or detrimental effects on an athlete. The cardiovascular upside on overall health is clear cut. But what about all that trauma that a runner’s knees must endure with each step slamming into the pavement?
Protecting your knees and back while running is a battle that must be fought on several simultaneous fronts. Simple strategies such as proper shoe maintenance and alternating exercise regimens are simple ways to avoid foot and ankle injuries that are commonly seen in runners. When it comes to the knees and low back, a well-conceived functional strengthening program can help avoid injury. The concept is very similar to what any recreational athlete feels at the end of a long day skiing. Most injuries in skiing tend to occur at the end of the day when our muscles are fatigued and less apt to allow us to recover from some perturbation/fall. Basically, tired muscles have difficulty protecting us from injury when compared to muscles that are better conditioned. The core muscles are at the ‘core’ of injury prevention with respect to the knee and low back. The core muscles help to shock-absorb and avoid injuries to the adjacent joints.
This list offers a nice starting point for strengthening. It features some simple exercises to keep your core, back, hips and shoulders in reasonably loose and powerful form.
Still suffering from knee pain, hip pain, back pain or shoulder pain? Visit my San Diego orthopedic surgery practice to learn more about how you can achieve lasting health without losing a step.