Running Into Knee Problems
Cardiovascular exercises such as running are good for heart health and help to prevent diseases. However, too much running can also cause serious problems with the knees. Gearing up for a jog too often can lead to conditions such as knee pain or stress fractures. Knowing when to visit the doctor is important, as some injuries may require orthopedic surgery.
Is it okay to run every day?
According to research, running at a moderate pace for 5-10 minutes daily has many health benefits. Running can help prevent heart conditions, neurological diseases, and cancer. However, excessive running can impose a risk on the knees, so a balanced approach is required. Incorporating other activities, such as swimming, cycling, or yoga, can reduce the risk of injuring the knee. Adding these less impactful activities can also help strengthen other muscles and improve flexibility.
Reasons for knee pain
Although not every runner experiences knee pain, certain risk factors can make injuries more likely. People who are overweight may experience knee pain as the extra weight can exert more pressure on the joints. Some medical conditions, such as arthritis, can also make knee injuries more likely to occur. Frequent runners, or people who don’t break up daily workouts with less impactful exercises like yoga, are also more prone to pain. To prevent knee pain, runners can focus on maintaining a healthy weight, incorporating warm-up exercises, wearing comfortable shoes, and taking breaks as needed.
When to see an orthopedic doctor
Depending on the cause, some knee pain can be treated conservatively at home. However, sometimes a consultation with an orthopedic doctor is needed. Seek immediate help if the knee pain is associated with high fever, swelling, redness, warmth, and tenderness of the knee. Severe or continuous pain, any knee deformity, a popping sound, or locking of the knee also requires orthopedic attention. If pain affects daily activities such as walking or if there is a reduced range of movements, a doctor can help.
Going the distance
Running is good for health and can be a great form of exercise for many people. However, too much running can hurt the knees. Try mild to moderate running and incorporate other types of exercises throughout the week to avoid putting pressure on the knees. Knee pain happens for other medical reasons as well. Recognizing when to visit the orthopedic surgeon is essential. Although surgery is not always necessary, this professional can evaluate the knee pain and help make an appropriate treatment plan.