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3 ways to prevent running injuries: are you doing any of them?

Information provided on the blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or offer treatment plans.

How can you avoid being one of the 75% of runners who experience an injury?

It’s possible, and here are three quick tips to help prevent a knee injury, which account for 42% of all running injuries.

Post-run Stretching

Identified as an effective means of preventing running injury, post-run stretching is also something many runners neglect!

After you finish a run, make sure to stretch the following muscle areas:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Hip flexors and rotators
  • Calves
  • Groin
  • IT Band

Need some stretches? Like, Tweet, or +1 to get the download link! [l2g name=”Click here for your free Cool Down Stretches” id=”1425″]

Increase Your Cadence:

Most runners with knee pain tend to run with lower cadences of about 150-170 steps/minute.

Count your steps and see how many you are taking per/min. Then, try to increase your number of steps/min by 5-10% (ie. 160 spm increases to 168-176spm). This 5-10% increase in steps/min will decrease stress on your knee by shortening your running stride leading to lower impact forces.

That’s a win.

Wear Appropriate Running Footwear

Most runners with knee pain associated with running are running in footwear without enough stability.

And, even worse, many people keep adding up the miles on a tire pair of running shoes that should have been replaced miles and miles ago.

Do your knees a favor and purchase a pair of running shoes with more stability, which will limit inward foot rolling upon impact with the ground and protect your knee.  Trust me; your body will be much happier with the right running footwear.

This type of footwear will have grey material and a plastic piece under the arch and on the inside of the sole of the shoe.

Have any other questions? Please ask in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter, and I’ll make sure to answer them.

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Jon Gallas, DPT

Jon Gallas is a doctor of physical therapy for OrthoIllinois. He's also an avid runner and biker, who likes to work with endurance athletes to stay healthy and perform better.


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