Fixing Knee Pain For Athletes (Part 2 of 3)

In the previous post we introduced a very common reason why those who run a lot may develop knee pain.
Not surprisingly, heel striking isn't the only sprint form issue that can cause problems.
Another big one involves landing with your foot rotated out at ground contact.
As we mentioned in our previous post, the foot is designed to absorb maximal sprint forces through the front half of the foot, not through the heel or the sides.
This type of technique flaw would most likely cause pain on the inside portion of your knee.
So why would anyone run with their feet rotated out?
One reason could be flexibility limitations in the ankles or hips.
Athletes who run all the time are prone to developing tightness on the outside part of their calves and hamstrings, which act like puppet strings that rotate the leg outward.
The other big reason would be poor stability or balance.
Sprinting is 100% a single leg event. The entire time you sprint you are either on a single leg, or in the air.
Athletes who cannot balance perfectly still on 1 leg in a high knee position for more than a couple seconds are likely the same ones who need to rotate and create a wider base on landing to prevent falls.
A lack of balance can be coming from many different areas - weakness in the feet, hips and core are most common - any of which would prevent you from sprinting with everything moving in a nice straight line.
These are not straightforward problems to fix!
Taking a video of your sprint stride from a front view would let you know if this is a problem for you, or not.
And although most solutions would involve a more targeted analysis of the root causes, you can watch this video to discover two of the more effective exercises to help fix either a lower leg flexibility issue, or a lack of core stability:
Oftentimes it is the combination of inefficient technique combined with being in your growing years that creates chronic knee pain.

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