This year I am taking on running!
Many are the New Year resolutions that follow the 12 strikes of the clock, and after a few days of celebration and excesses, one of the most common purposes is: "This year I sign up to the the gym" or "In January I start running".
The so-called "running" is a physical activity that is booming. It is increasingly more common to see people running through the streets and parks of our city. Alone or accompanied, it is trendy to run.
If you have never run, or on the contrary you are already a veteran and want new challenges, it is necessary to take a number of precautions to avoid injuring that throws you off from the physical activity you enjoy so much. One of the most common injuries during the practice of "running" is anterior knee pain, or also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). This pathology appears in both the general population and the athlete, women tend to have a higher incidence of this type of pain.
What to do to prevent the onset of anterior knee pain?
There are local, distal and proximal factors involved in the development of this injury. Avoiding alteration of any of them are key to preventing this disease.
A distal factor would be a pronated foot, that is to say, a fall of the inner arch of the foot. This alteration can be corrected with the aid of insoles if necessary and by strengthening the muscles in the foot, for example, picking up a towel with your toes slowly.
As local factors a misalignment of the patella that causes an increase in the stress it suffers. This pathological position of the patella is due to a muscle imbalance in the thigh. The vastus medialis (VMO) of the quadriceps would be weak and the vastus lateralis muscle would be overworked. This situation can lead to muscle contractures generated in the vastus lateralis and fascia latae which is directly above. One way one can self-treat this contracture in this muscle in order to prevent the occurrence of pain is with the help of 3TOOL. The 3TOOL is a physiotherapy tool that helps us treat muscle contractures in different ways, either by performing self-compression over the most painful spots (maintaining compression from 30" to 90", until one feels relaxation or relief from symptoms) on the vastus lateralis or carrying out self-massage along the fascia latae which is very effective for releasing it. It is also interesting to relax the quadriceps Rectus Femoris together with the vastus lateralis. We would complete the work on these factors strengthening the vastus medialis (VMO).
Finally, proximally we would have other muscle imbalances in the hip with a muscle we should strengthen (Gluteus medius) and another (tensor fascia latae) we should relax with the self-compression or self-massage with 3TOOL.
To strengthen the weak muscles we should use sets with many repetitions with low load, because what we want is to work the muscle endurance preventing the onset of fatigue when running that induces the imbalance situation with a looser or weak muscle, and a winner or contractured muscle.
Once the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer stated "Health is not everything but without it, everything else is nothing". So when you start 2016 with new purpose of launching yourself to enjoy "running", keep in mind these tips because, ending with another quote from Erasmus of Rotterdam, "Prevention is better than cure".