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If you’re new to running or you’re a longtime or long-distance runner, you may wonder what damage you’re doing to your knees over time. There’s even a condition called patellofemoral pain syndrome, which is conversationally known as runner’s knee.

At his clinic, Next Step Orthopedics,  in McKinney, Texas, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Dominique Nickson, specializes in a range of knee conditions. Though it’s a common misconception, he doesn’t believe running is bad for your knees. Many people mistakenly believe that running causes arthritis in the knees. Research says that osteoarthritis in your knees is due to aging and degeneration and not associated with exercise or activity. In this blog, Dr. Nickson shares some of the many ways you can avoid injury and knee pain when you run.

Don’t forget to train

Experts and exercise physiologists agree that you need to build up slowly before you take off running. Try walking and jogging short distances and slowly add time to each outing to build strength and endurance. Stretching is a crucial part of running. To prevent knee problems, as well as issues with your calf muscles, hamstrings, and glutes, build a few minutes of stretching into your pre and post-workout routine.

Know when not to run

Studies posted at the National Library of Medicine show that running with an injury can cause further and possibly more detrimental damage to your knee. When you have knee pain, come into our office for a comprehensive evaluation before you run again. We’ll make a diagnosis and customize treatment so you can safely hit the trail as soon as possible.

Run, rest, repeat

As essential as it is to train and increase your mileage, it’s equally important to build rest days into your training program. Training without resting could lead to an overuse injury and sideline you for weeks at a time.

Pick your path carefully

Our team here at Next Step Orthopedics recommends running on softer surfaces like rubber tracks, trails, or grassy paths instead of paved roads, which tend to pound your joints more aggressively.

While running with these strategies in mind isn’t bad for your knees, please come in to see us if you have knee pain that’s keeping you from running. We use advanced technology to help diagnose your problem and use conservative and minimally invasive therapies to alleviate your pain, restore your range of motion, and help you reclaim your quality of life.

Call us at (972) 547-0047 or book an appointment online.

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