Saturday 3 December 2016

The truth about runners' knees and the damage hard surfaces can do

Surgery is not a great option, so pay attention to the signs

Pat Henry

Published 13/04/2015 | 08:17

Runners' feet
Runners' feet

So many people called after last week's article 'How to avoid the mistakes made by injured runners', which detailed how to avoid getting injured in the first place.

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Without a doubt, the most asked question was: 'Does running on the roads or hard surfaces cause damage in the long term?'

Well, the unfortunate answer is yes - according to research from a variety of runners, both male and female and people of all ages.

The constant impact and force that puts so much pressure on the feet, knees, hips and lower back causes a lot of problems.

And yes, there are many that remain pain free, however, you find that those runners are very aware of correct running form, and if injury occurs, they rest and recover.

There is so much research on the most common running-related injuries and the number one is always knee problems, such as cartilage and meniscal tears on the side of the knee cap.

The pain can be severe, like a knife stuck in your knee, and it can certainly stop you in your tracks. But again, many athletes will continue to run, making things worse.

What's more, as you compensate with the pain, shifting the weight from the left to the right, you may find yourself getting severely bad pain in the form of sciatica.

This manifests as a shooting pain from your hip, sometimes right down as far as your toe.

The best description I've ever heard of meniscal or cartilage tear is to imagine a new pair of shoes that are nice and shiny.

After a few days, they get scuffed, in the next phase they will become scraped. Eventually, with repeated use and wear and tear, you can see your socks through a small gap.

Just transfer this image to your knee. To repair the cartilage or meniscal damage is not easy. And many of our top surgeons have mixed opinions on how to treat it.

The latest theory is that with keyhole surgery is there is a 20pc chance of making things worse. The alternative is cortisol injections or physio.

For more info tel : 01 661 6195; email: info@henryfitnesscentre; com; www.henryfitnesscentre.com

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