Knee pain. It can make for agonizing runs and even stop a runner in their tracks. I’ve talked about my own knee pain before and how wearing a compression sleeve or foam rolling may help. However, according to a recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, there may be a simple trick you can do while running to help avoid this pain altogether. (Insert happy dance here! 💃)
So what is this simple trick? Lean forward. Leaning forward can alleviate pain by reducing the load on your joints. In other words, your knees won’t absorb as much shock from you pounding the pavement (or treadmill).
Perfect the technique: A subtle tweak To perfect this technique, bend at your hip so that your torso is 7 to 10 degrees farther forward. “When you shift the center mass of your body forward,” comments lead author of the study Dr. Christopher Powers of the University of Southern California, “it reduces the torque at your knee and instead puts the weight into your hips.” He also cautions runners to not overdo it by leaning too far forward. Enlist the help of a friend to watch or video-record you running, to see that you are bending at the hip and not leaning too far forward.
Do you have aches in your knees after a long run or bike ride? How about after lifting in the gym? Increasingly over the last few years my knee aches and pains have become more noticeable and linger longer after my runs, bike rides, and workouts. After 12+ years of gymnastics and many years of running and biking, not to mention inheriting my father’s lousy joints, it’s no wonder my knees ache.
After suffering for some time, I finally decided to invest in a compression sleeve for my knees to see if it would help. I was not only pleasantly surprised by the instant relief, but also thankful to have found relief in a form other than ibuprofen (and constant massaging).
Whether you are considering a compression sleeve for your knee or another part of your body, here are five reasons why you’ll benefit from wearing one:
Enhanced blood circulation.
Reduced pain, swelling and inflammation.
Warmth. This helps in enhancing your warm-up via increases in skin temperature and also helps prevent strain and fatigue by keeping muscles warm while wearing the sleeve during physical activity.
Increased muscle support. Which increases performance through improved muscle efficiency.
While researching the benefits of compression I learned that the jury is still out in the scientific community whether compression sleeves are truly beneficial. I am however, a believer that compression sleeves do offer relief, having experienced it first hand. I do find wearing the compression sleeve a bit uncomfortable during my workout, so I put it on as soon as I finish. I’ve only bought one compression sleeve and so far love it and plan on purchasing a second one this week (so I don’t have to keep switching back and forth from one knee to the other). If you are curious which compression sleeve I use, you can find it here.