Pain in the knees and ankles is a common problem for beginners. How to get rid of the pain and how to improve your form to avoid unpleasant sensations? Are there ways to prevent “runner’s knee” and ankle pain?
Work on running technique
One of the common reasons for knee and ankle pain during running is improper form. What aspects you should consider?
A common mistake of beginning runners is "wiggling" the feet when running. The correct running technique looks like this: the movement should be two-dimensional - forward in front of you and then strictly backwards. Drifts to the right and left lead to increased impact on your joints.
In practice, not all beginners can learn this moment at once: many people put their feet to the side when they touch the ground. It may lead to pain.
Carefully follow the technique: start running only after you learn how to walk fast - all the professional runners started this way. It is better to spend more time walking than to switch to running with improper form. The body gets used to the wrong movement patterns very quickly, and in the future, it may be difficult to change the pattern.
Select the right surface
If you run with the proper form, but your knees and ankle still hurt, pay attention to the surface you run on.
Running on solid surfaces with no shock absorption is a big mistake. There is nothing more harmful and dangerous than running on asphalt or concrete slabs. Avoid such surfaces, no matter how innovative your running shoes are.
Surfaces with no shock absorption becomes the main cause of arthritis and arthrosis and lead to rapid degradation of the knee joint and problems with the spine. Therefore, stay away from asphalt and concrete, and train on gravel, sand, small pebbles and any kinds of soil. Perhaps the wrong surface choice caused your knee and ankle pain.
Wear shoes with shock absorption
The damping qualities of your running shoes will reduce the impact on your knees and ankles. Running without special shoes means unreasonably risking your joint health.
The material of the shoe soles should be tight and elastic at the same time: the sole must easily bend at the front. Otherwise, the leg will appear in the shoetree and may be injured.
Choose shoes with deep tread - they provide better grip with the surface: it means you have less risk of slipping or stumbling.
Pay attention to foot support technology: different manufacturers have their own features and patents for such technologies. Foot support is an insert of dense material on the inside of the sole. It allows you to keep the foot straight and protect foot from pronation (moving inward) and supination (moving outward).
Warm up the joints before the workout
Warm-up is a must for all running workout, no matter if you are a professional athlete, getting prepared for short amateur races, or just running on the stadium to stay active. Warming up is necessary for everyone.
Joint warm-up is part of the overall runner warm-up. The simplest exercises of articular workout are rotational joint movements. Do 15-20 rotations in each direction, going down from your neck. Start with the upper body joints then move to the hips, knees and ankles.
Add light stretching exercises and a few strength exercises. It can be a round of push-ups and air squats.
If it wouldn’t help
- If you feel pain during the workout, you must stop immediately. If you can’t get rid of pain for 5-10 days, consult a physician. Painful symptoms can indicate joint inflammation;
- Do not make warm compresses to aching joints, as this may increase inflammation. Also avoid extreme cold compresses. Do stretching exercises only if it doesn’t aggravate the pain - otherwise, give up stretching for a while;
- Consult with a doctor and select the sports medication to protect joints and cartilage.