I have seen a lot of people lately who wear knee support while running. They look like tight neoprene with a hole for the knee (I'm assuming so it is easier to bend). Would these be beneficial for longer distance running to prevent injury? Thanks.
Neoprene is for heat/swelling. There are lots of knee braces for lots of uses. The flimsy ones that are only neoprene don't add any support that is greater than your muscles and ligaments provide (just bend and empty one and you'll see how much support they give). These do keep the knee warm, which might be important for some injuries and they might keep swelling down if you have a sprain/strain that you are recovering from. The only brace that I know the is commonly used for prevention of injury is the one that is a thin donut that people wear below their kneecap. This helps deal with Chondromalacia (knee cap misalignment). As far as preventing injury during running? The best thing to do is to slowly progress in the number of miles one runs and get new shoes fairly often.
I wear one at times. I wear a knee brace at times when I am hiking. A couple of years ago, I injured my knee, and now it sometimes hurts if I am on a long hike, or one with a lot of downhill. It seems to be the impact which really irritates it, so I can imagine running might be similar. I find that as soon as I feel my knee pain begin to flare up, if I put the brace on it not only keeps it from getting worse, but sometimes actually alleviates the pain and allows me to continue hiking without problems. I am no doctor, and this is only my experience, but it seems to help for me.
Jill said, "As far as preventing injury during running? The best thing to do is to slowly progress in the number of miles one runs and get new shoes fairly often." I agree. Do stretches to strengthen your hips and knees. Do lots and lots of miles at a LSD pace, relatively slow and at a comfortable pace that allows you to carry on a conversation with a running partner.
Here are the stretches I do, but there are many other stretches that are good. Google to find them.
Concerning shoes, runners typically replace shoes after 500 miles. Also, there are three kinds of shoes, so be sure you get the right kind. Stay away from the mall type stores and go to a good running store that has sales people trained to look at your feet as you walk to determine the type of shoe you need. Once you find a brand/model that works for you, stick with it as long as it is available. Having the wrong shoes are a common cause of injuries.
Whether or not those types of knee braces help prevent injuries really depend on why the person is wearing it in the first place. Most people, like myself, who wear those types of braces need them for support during certain activities. Mine is for long periods of standing or walking because of a hyperextension injury to my knee. However, if I wear it when running, my running gait is altered and I am more prone to injury. So I don't wear it for running.
Sore knees and such can generally be taken care of by proper rest and recovery and use of ice and/or an anti-inflammatory. If it more serious than that, a doctor and/or physical therapist should be consulted to determine solutions specific to your running schedule and goals.
Wow which way does a novice runner that has booked in for a marathon turn! I twisted my knee months ago and now after just five or six miles it gives in, I had built back up to 10 miles and was doing well with the training program but now am frustrated at the 5/6 mile barrier. Do I fork out for a knee support or do I spend a fortune on a diffrent pair of trainers, or should I spend even more and go to a phtsio?????? Can anyone answer that dilema!
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