Let’s look at how your joints work so that you can have a greater understanding of your own physical condition. Firstly, a joint is a connection between the bones and they help you to be able to move. When you injure a joint, it can greatly limit your flexibility or freedom of movement and in turn, there can be a great deal of discomfort whilst the joint tries to heal.
Joints enable flexibility within the skeleton and so healthy joints are essential. Joints, in addition with muscles, tendons, ligaments and the cartilage form your musculoskeletal system.
There are numerous conditions that can trigger a painful response within any of your joints and whilst it can be frustrating to experience this discomfort, the lack of movement can also hamper your lifestyle significantly.
Discomfort in the joints is common and although arthritis is often the first fear, there are many reasons why a particular joint may become affected. Sports injuries, strains, too much exercise or simply age, may all have a bearing.
Many adults experience discomfort within their joints at one time or another. Discomfort within the knee joints is most common but actually, joint discomfort can affect any joint within your body.
Cartilage within the joint is often impacted and cartilage problems mean less protection for the bones in the joint and friction often occurs. Cartilage enables the bones to absorb shocks which are especially important when exercising or undergoing any physical activity but the cartilage actually starts deteriorating after the age of twenty, impacting mobility. It’s important to ensure that collagen is present and replaced as this is known as the building block of cartilage.
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Knee pain from running
If you haven’t experienced knee pain while running, count yourself very lucky.
Anterior knee pain in runners – either below the kneecap (patella) or underneath it – is commonly referred to as PFPS (patello-femoral pain syndrome). It is one of the most common injuries affecting many runners who suffer from overuse. If not managed this can, over time, load to osteoarthritis of the patello-femoral joint.
PFPS can arise from various structures around and within the patello-femoral joint. These includes the bone fat pad, quadriceps tendon, patellar ligament, synovium and retinaculum.
That this injury is so common is no surprise, as large forces, between 0.5 and seven times your body weight are transmitted to the knee. As with most overuse injuries, the major causes of PFPS in runners are training errors, biomechanics, and not wearing proper running shoes.
Common causes of knee pain
Training errors. Poor training techniques can lead to running knee pain. Doing too much, too soon. Trainers suggest: don’t increase more that 10% your weekly mileage (very important rule for beginners). For example, if you run 10 miles this week, you should not increase the total distance up to 11 miles the following week.
Biomechanics. This complication is associated to how your different body parts moves as run. Usually, the biomechanical problem is related to your arch type.
NOT running with proper shoes. Today’s running shoes technology can help reduce the impact force and injury risk.
Calf and Hamstring stretch
Stretch the hamstrings and calves to release the back of the knee, which prevents overload on the front of the knee, below or under the patella. For a really deep stretch, invest in a slant board.
For many people, discomfort is short lived. Rest and recuperation is often a solution and ensuring healthy supplements and a good, nutritious diet will give your body a chance to fight back.
If your joint discomfort feels chronic and lasts for several weeks, it is important that you seek medical advice. In the first instance, a doctor will try to preserve the general function of the joint and reduce any inflammation, thereby easing any discomfort that is experienced.
There are plenty of different medicines available and there will be one to suit your needs.