“Hmm, It’s amazing that you walk so normal.”
Those are the exact words my Doctor used as I awkwardly stood there in the consulting room. How exactly is a person supposed to take that?
I’m one of those unfortunate people who suffers from over-pronation. As a result my ankles, knees and hips are all out of whack. That’s the medical term, I think. I’m now really awkward about wearing skirts, can you believe he called my knees squinty?!?
It’s not a huge problem, and I can still do everything I would normally do, it just means I have to be careful about footwear choices and exercise. This is probably part of the reason I’m a reluctant runner; knee injuries terrify me. But running is the best and cheapest way to get some decent cardio in, so I’ve figured out some great ways of keeping my knees happy over the years.
- The right shoes, with the right insoles. I use Softec ultra by SOLE. These are a great (and cheap) alternative to getting custom foot beds made. You simply stick them in the oven for 2 minutes, put them in your shoes, and stand there for 2 minutes while it moulds to the shape of your foot. They offer amazing support for running. I actually miss them when I’m not wearing my running shoes.
- Knee supports. I only have trouble with my left knee, so I just stick a regular elastic knee support on.
- Warming up. I used to think warming up was like, 2 mins of stretching your calves, and then you’re ready to go. Wrong! I now work stretching and flexibility into my whole workout. And there’s nothing wrong with launching into a light run, and then stretching 2 minutes up the road.
- Core Stability. Your core strength has a huge impact on your posture, working on your core can actually make you stand a little taller! I squeeze in some Pilates strength exercises a few times per week, and this seems to do the trick.
- Listen to your body. Before I found out what was wrong with my knees, I assumed that my knees just weren’t used to running, and that’s why they hurt. If you’re having any kind of problems, the best thing you can do is see a Doctor and get a professional opinion.
If the worst should happen, there are amazing products out there to help you rehabilitate a knee injury. The KneeHab is one such product: it is designed specifically to treat quadriceps atrophy (thigh muscle wastage) and re-educates the muscle by sending gentle electrical pulses through pads placed on the surface of the skin.