Running has many positive effects on mental and physical health. However, if an athlete is not careful, improper running can cause injury in the feet, legs and knees. Overuse can wear down the cartilage in the kneecap, causing pain when using stairs, doing squats, or sitting for long periods of time. The most problematic cause for the common ailment is what’s being worn on the feet. An inadequate pair of running shoes can cause serious injury to other parts of the body in addition to the knee.
If any pain is being experienced while running, cheaper quality running shoes might be the problem. Five criteria athletes should use to judge quality are comfort, grip, fit, breathability and durability. Cheaper quality shoes typically do not meet satisfactory needs pertaining to these criteria. Investing in a more suitable running sneaker can help improve efficiency during workouts.
Knee pain can occur in different areas, requiring a different type of shoe for each area. For example, flat feet (pronation) can cause the kneecap to switch positions. Stability shoes are designed to correct this issue. Over-pronation may also benefit from extra arch support to help the arch lift back into the correct position. If a problem is diagnosed as too much pressure in the joint, an anti-supination shoe is highly recommended. A medical examination should be given if experiencing pain along the knee, as exchanging shoes may not amend some conditions.
Many dedicated runners have at least three pairs of shoes in rotation at any given time. This was originally said to allow the cushion in the shoe to retain its original shape, but has recently been proven incorrect. Cushion retention holds whether using one pair or three. However, it is recommended to replace shoes after 400-500 miles of use.
The staff at Center for Athletic Performance & Physical Therapy specialize in improving an athlete’s performance and efficiency. Contact one of our five valley locations to schedule an appointment!