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Last week, Mom posted about knee pain. I didn’t know what to tell her other than, “go do hot yoga.” Truthfully, I don’t even know if yoga is a cure for knee pain, but I wanted to help my mom so I blurted out something that helps me. I felt bad about it this morning and decided to do a little research to find something that would really help her. I looked at several articles and in each one doctors were quoted saying something along the lines of “By far the most common ‘injury’ we see in runners is knee pain.” Doctors were also consistently quoted blaming, not the knees, but the feet and quads.

Check out these three most common causes of knee pain:

1. Your feet

When your feet aren’t working properly your kneecap moves out of its track, or rubs up against its sides. Maybe you’re overpronating or supinating when you run.

Solution:  There are nearly 1000 steps per mile, and over time the cushioning cartilage around the knee becomes worn. To prevent this process you should stabilize your feet. Make sure you have the right kind of shoes for your foot type (review tips from Cool Running on shoe shopping). To tell if you’re overpronating or supinating, you can go to a running shop OR dip your feet in water and then run down your sidewalk. Check out your footprint before the watermarks dry. (I under-pronate slightly.)

2. Inflexibility of the thigh yanking on the kneecap.

Solution: Stretching. The three areas of concern here are the quadriceps, IT band, and the worst offender, the hip flexors. Especially for those who sit at a desk most of the day. Check out these stretches from Shape.com

3. Weak Quads and Overuse

Relieve pain by icing your knees immediately after running. Use cold packs or put a wet towel in the freezer before you run. Wrap the cold packs around each knee for about fifteen minutes to bring down the swelling. Before bed, put heating pads or warm wet towels on your knees for half an hour.

Cut back on increasing mileage. We have six months, mom. You can slow it down a bit and just run a mile each session for the next two weeks 🙂

I would also like to point out that my suggestion of yoga was actually pretty good. In yoga, you strengthen and you stretch. Practicing yoga also mixes up your workouts so you aren’t overusing your knee with running. I’m so smart. Namaste.

Possible Mother’s Day gift? http://www.whiteflowerstudio.com/yoga