The Auckland Marathon is a regular fixture on every runner’s calendar come November each year. Year after year record numbers enrol for both the half marathon and full marathon distances. They also offer a 12km and 5km walk/run option which some of you may have signed up for. The amount of interest in this event really highlights how important running and walking are as forms of exercise for many of us. All too often we have keen runners and walkers present to the clinic weeks out from an event like the half marathon that have developed anterior knee pain. They often experience pain around the knee or knee cap, swelling, clicking and/or stiffness, which can be quite debilitating and is often affecting their training! This is 4-6 times more common in females.
This pain can be caused by:
- Over training – ramping up training loads too quickly
- Incorrect footwear
- Previous history of injuries to the lower limb
- Tight muscles
- Insufficient muscle strength
- Poor stability around the lower back and pelvis
All of these factors either individually or in combination can cause the knee cap to not track correctly. This will cause irritation of the joint surfaces and subsequently lead to pain.
Don’t worry… we can help!! Physiotherapy treatment will help to correct that tracking issue (think of headlights on a car… you want both knee caps facing straight ahead), which will help to resolve that knee pain.
Treatment can consist of:
- Assessment of lower limb and pelvic biomechanics
- Assessment of muscle function (weakness or tightness)
- Training modification
- Taping techniques to get you moving in a pain free way
- Massage and joint mobilization
- An individualised, specific exercise programme to correct those imbalances
If you are considering starting running but have some concerns regarding previous injuries or knee pain, we are happy to help you. It is important to address those niggles early, especially if you are training for an event. Don’t leave it to the last minute!