Knee Support for Running
Most runners – particularly those who log lots of training miles or who compete at long distances – have experienced knee pain at one time or another. For some, ice packs are part of every post-run routine. Others put mind over matter, and just wait for the pain to pass – until the next run.
A better solution would be to prevent the discomfort altogether, and the best way to support your knees for running is to stabilize the knee joint to ensure efficient, forward movement.
Keep All Joints Stable And Strong To Prevent Injury
When running or walking, our feet, ankles, knees, and hips work together to propel us forward. If one part of the body is weak or injured, or if we train with poor form, we run the risk of throwing our natural cadence off, and invite problems throughout our system of movement.
If you’re experiencing knee pain after training or racing, there’s no need to accept discomfort as part of the drill. Take steps to improve your form. Consult with a trainer, coach, or sports medicine specialist to assess your gait and form, then work to resolve any issues. Ask your trainer to recommend a stabilizing exercise regimen to prevent or alleviate knee pain associated with running. If you don’t have access to professional help, look to resources like Runner’s World for classic stabilizing exercises that can help save your knees and ankles.
Kinesiology Tape And Braces Can Help, Too
When used properly, kinesiology tape and knee braces can also provide much needed support and stability, especially when recovering from an injury or from overuse. Acute injuries require professional attention and treatment of course, as does chronic joint pain. Your doctor or trainer can recommend the right amount of compression, and advise you how and when to use a knee brace. For a little extra support during vigorous training, OTC knee braces can provide the stability you need to take care of your knees.
If your knees are healthy and pain-free, and you want to keep them that way, be proactive with stabilizing exercises designed to strengthen the muscles and tendons associated with the knee joint. Strong connective tissue provides the absolute best knee support for running.
Ankle Support After Injury
Ankle sprains are common, painful injuries that can keep you out of the game for days, weeks, even a month or more. The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) estimates that every day, 25,000 people suffer an ankle sprain. Of course, these accidental injuries are not always associated with playing or practicing a sport. You may have been injured when you tripped over your pet, or missed the last step on your way out the door. Ankle sprains are all too familiar to athletes, and you’re most at risk if you play field hockey! Volleyball, football, and basketball players are also at higher risk, but anyone who competes – cheerleaders included – is a candidate for an ankle sprain.
Early Treatment Is Key To Preventing Long Term Problems
According to the AOFAS, sprains are classified as Grade I, II, or III, depending on the amount of ligament damage sustained. Your doctor or trainer will want to check your ankle to ensure that you haven’t suffered any broken bones, and will recommend the appropriate course of treatment.
Most at-home care includes the RICE regimen, a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation to aid healing. More serious sprains require more serious treatment, however, and if your sprain is severe, your doctor may recommend additional ankle support to help you heal. Severe sprains may even require a cast or a walking boot that can be removed at night
What Kind Of Ankle Support Do You Need?
Ankle braces provide varying levels of support, stability, and comfort. According to Podiatry Today, there are five different types of ankle braces that your doctor or trainer may consider, depending on the severity of your injury.
• Sleeves – Least stable, most comfortable; often worn under a more stable brace for comfort
• Straps – Velcro strap braces typically wrap around the ankle; take care to not make the brace too tight
• Stirrups – Stirrup braces are designed to limit lateral motion, and are often prescribed as an alternative to a splint or boot
• Lace Ups – Usually made of rigid materials to provide more stability; newer designs are often combined with Velcro straps to improve comfort • Hybrids – Combine different aspects of all of the above-mentioned braces for comfort and stability
Early Treatment Is The Key To Preventing Long-Term Problems
No matter how much you want to keep going, early, appropriate aftercare can help guard against long-term problems with ankle stability. Have your sprained ankle assessed by a trainer or medical professional, and follow their treatment recommendations to the letter to regain stability and strength in your ankle joint.