This is a guest post by Katrina Rice. Thanks, Katrina!
Running is one of the best cardio workouts that can be practiced by everybody. But experiencing knee pain while and after running can be due to many different factors. The most common would be misalignment of your femur bone, knee cap stress due to excess weight, uneven platforms, using the wrong shoes, health problems like arthritis, gout, sprains or old injury, and many more. Pain at the front of the knee is the most common pain there is during and after running.
It commonly affects teenagers, female and older athletes. In most cases, the pain usually stems from overuse of the knees, poor preparation, and extensive sporting activities. It is recommended that you must stop the activities that trigger the knee ache and apply ice on the affected area immediately.
To help you heal your painful joints, below are some of the tips you can use at home to help you recover from this issue and also address other forms of knee pain.
1. Get Rid Of Old Shoes
If you are still using a pair of old shoes with a broken arch, it is time to replace them with a new pair. Make sure to get running shoes – one that provides maximum support. This prevent ankle and knee injuries and also provides a more comfortable landing while running and can therefore lessen the stress in your knees.
2. Support and Improve Posture
Simple measures such as avoiding knee strain at home can help support your knees. Try to stay away from chairs that are situated low on the ground. Do not sit on old couches that make you sink. This puts a strain on your back and knees. You can elevate your posture by sitting on pillows. Avoid putting a pillow underneath your knees as well as this can worsen the problem.
3. Take Warm Baths
Though it may sound contradictory to what most athletes do, taking warm baths has its advantage. A warmer climate is psychologically associated with calmness and tranquility, and achieving this environment by dipping into a bathtub of warm water can help accomplish that.
It will help calm muscle spasms and gives you that overall relaxed feeling. Make sure to take warm baths hours after you have applied your cold compress.
5. Be Open To Complementary and Alternative Remedies
Many osteoarthritis patients appreciate the effects of acupuncture on their pain and getting the same service for a painful knee due to running may achieve the great results as well. Other individuals may prefer massage to help soothe their pain.
Taking NSAIDs are also common when you are experiencing a runner’s knee. But for people who prefer to stay more natural (and opt not to spend so much money on pharmaceutical products), they turn to natural remedies and supplements that can help relieve some of the pain.
Ginger and turmeric tea is a popular remedy for joint pain. What makes it an effective pain reliever is its effectiveness in preventing the release of cytokines – a chemical messenger in the body responsible for inflammation. Turmeric can also be bought in capsule form. Though the side effects of taking turmeric supplement are rare, it is best to start at a low dosage. Epsom salt bath is also known to treat knee pain.
An Epsom Salt soak contains magnesium sulfate – a natural occurring mineral used to provide pain relief.
The mineral magnesium helps relieve stiffness, relax nerve endings and alleviate some of the pain.
6. Prepare Healthier Meals At Home
People who are overweight or obese are more likely to experience knee pain and potential injuries. Carrying excess weight puts a lot more stress in your knees, especially when long distance running is involved in your exercise routine. Losing unwanted weight does not only help you fight and prevent knee pain, it also addresses other health issues (like arthritis) related to knee pain – and eating healthy and balanced meals will help you achieve that goal.
If you are overweight, the most sensible meals are those that have less content in sugar. Cut back on simple carbohydrates and turn to low-carb vegetables instead.
Throw away processed foods and replace them with whole foods. Eating too much processed food is also known to trigger the body’s inflammatory response and can make your knee pain even worse.
7. Strenghten Your Glutes
Do some strength training and train your glutes at least once or twice a week. Well developed and strong glutes are not just essential for achieving optimal running performance, this also decreases your risk of getting lower back, hamstring, groin and knee injuries.
The reason behind this is weak glutes cause hip imbalance and can lead to excessive medial rotation on your femur bone. Your knees essentially start to compensate for the weight and pressure and potentially cause great discomfort or pain.
If your knee pain has been recurring and alternative remedies do not seem to work, it is always best to consult your physician and get your knees checked. This is to ensure that there are no underlying conditions that can cause further discomfort or possible damage. Don’t be afraid to seek professional’s advice as they can help you solve the root of your pain.
Bio: Katrina Rice is a mom and a freelance writer. She strongly believes in the concept of holistic wellness through healthy and natural living, traveling and immersing one’s self in new activities. A self-proclaimed health enthusiast, she hopes to inspire more people to do the same.