The Dogma of the Week: Running and Knee Pain

Good morning everyone and welcome to the latest installation of “The Dogma of the Week.”

The topic I am going to be discussing for this blogpost will be oriented around running and it’s association to knee pain.

For much of my career, I had assumed that running was specifically damaging to the knee joint. In past experiences, I would often have clients come to me with knee problems after they would go for a jog. Within time, I had assumed that running was just not a good thing to do altogether. Logically speaking at that given period, it had seemed as if the joint impact was creating the problems within the knee region. What I later realized is that it was true, but only under the context that the body was not adapted to running first.

After reading up on information that was pertinent to running biomechanics, it became clear to me that my notions on the damaging effects of running were off the mark. I read a book called “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall and followed up with biomechanical research from a man by the name of Paul Chek to later find out that running was one of the healthiest activities a human can do, if it’s done correctly.

Any person that operates under dysfunction is not going to move optimally in their physical activities, EVEN IF THE ACTIVITY THEY ARE PERFORMING IN SEEMS TO BE COMPLETELY FUNCTIONAL. Running is as functional as it gets if you’re a human being, our survival for millions of years depended on the ability to run effectively and efficiently. With that said, if you mix our current cultures influence with this functional movement pattern, I can assure you there will be something that is going to fall apart at one point or the other. Often times, the knees are the first ones to go. So before we go off and say that running is bad for the health of one’s knees, we have to look at the full context of what is happening with the body when it’s going through that physical action.

Under most conditions, I would never recommend anyone run. Under the conditions of what I have learned and applied with people in terms of corrective exercise, Myofascial Release, and structural muscular integration, I highly recommend it. If the necessary precautions are made to address the imbalances that would make running damaging are taken care of, down to a biomechanical tee, then this form of exercise can be one of the most beneficial and functional of all forms of training.

Here is a video of me breaking down this topic a little more and providing an alternative that may lead to better results while you’re going through your gait cycle. For the full structural understanding of how to correct problems inhibiting proper gait patterns, I would strongly recommend checking out my “Human Foundations” video that specifically covers what a human needs to biomechanically align before getting on a running program. Enjoy!!!

2017-01-18T20:27:11+00:00

2 Comments

  1. roj August 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Thanks, Naudi, for this insightful info.
    I like your specificity not only on the mechanics of the run
    but also the toe-out which is prevalent.
    I’ll share to our members
    who’d been suffering knee-pain long ago
    and hope this would alleviate some of their problems.

  2. Wes December 7, 2012 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Hey Naudi, I am a big fan of your videos and I had a quick question about this one. If a client is suffering from knee pain but is also showing signs of lower cross syndrome indicating week hamstrings, would the mayofascial release still be beneficial in that area? Or would you assume the primary cause of the knee pain is stemming from other issues? Thanks for your time man I will keep tuning in to learn all I can from you!

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