Learn to land before you return to running following knee injury

Graham Anderson Balance Director Physiotherapist of lower limb disorders a with a 24 year history of clinical interest in knees.(He is also Physiotherapist to athletes at the last 4 Olympi and 5 Commonwealth Games.) speaks about the importance of improving impact as you reover form knee injury.

On of our main aims of gait and running re training for those with knee pain is to reduce the load at the knee.So many people return to running from injury without looking at how they land. There is usually a need to to work on improving impact through the whole kinetic chain of the legs/back

  1. Landing with a bent knee is optimal. – learning to shock absorb with the muscles around the knee rather then the knee joint itself is ideal.
  2. Landing under the hips – Reduce striding too far. Landing with the foot more under the hip stops the knee extending and keeps the pelvis in its optimal stable position.
  3. Quick feet. – Upping the cadence will help with shortening the stride and lessen the impact . A long bounding stride will likely cause and increase in load and potentially switch off core activation
  4. Relaxed landing – Easier said than done but tension in musculature will increase forces through the joints
  5. Good posture – Being in alignment allows you to take advantage of all the above. Run tall, lean should come from the foot and ankle.
  6. Strength and Conditioning – when running its not only body weight going though the legs but gravity and this fore can increase the faster you run. Hence strength conditioning is essential. Gluteal strengthening of both maximus and medius along with traditional squats and lunges will assist. Advance these simple exercises to assymmetrical weighted  exercises and chaotic control and increasing degrees of impact.

It is for this reasons we work to get people to understand posture and movement first, then become flexible and strong before educating improved running techniques.

We have a variety of rehab toys and imaginative ideas at Balance Performance Physiotherapy alongside state of the art Alter G antigravity treadmill and multi-camera gait analysis system. Come and see how we can help.