Are Treadmills Good For The Knees?

30, Oct, 16

While regular running on a treadmill does present a certain risk factor, there are ways for you to manage these concerns and avoid sustaining serious injuries. If you have any additional concerns, speak to a doctor or trainer about adjustments that you can potentially make to your running form.

Treadmills do present a certain amount of risk when it comes to the health and safety of our knees. If you have already suffered a knee injury in the past, you could be placing yourself at an increased level of risk by continuing to run. Read on to learn more about the dangers of treadmill danger and how you can avoid them.

Treadmills can be a great addition to the home and our workout schedule, since they allow us to work out any time of the day, no matter what the weather may look like outside. They provide us with the opportunity to stay in peak cardiovascular shape and avoid the gym, as well.


Injuries to the Knees

The knees are filled with valuable tendons and ligaments, and when this part of the body receives excessive stimulation, you are also placing the larger muscles that are connected to the tendons and ligaments at increased risk. Those who run on a regular basis commonly experience what is known as runner's knee or they begin to feel a dull, throbbing sensation behind the knee cap.

When a person has imbalanced strength in each of their thighs, this can cause their cartilage to begin rubbing up against the kneecaps. If you're experiencing runner's knee, incorporating some lower body strength training exercises into your workout can help to combat this common issue. There is also an increased risk of tears to the tendons and ligaments, but these risks are no more pronounced for treadmill runners than they are for those who run in general.


Decreasing the Level of Shock Absorption

While there are many who prefer to do their running on the pavement, those who decide to do so are placing their bodies at increased risk for shock absorption related injuries. Shock absorption injuries are much less likely for treadmill runners, which is an important fact to bear in mind. The knees bear the brunt of the burden when we run outdoors and when we switch to a treadmill, we are decreasing the risk of serious injuries.

All treadmills are not created equally as far as shock absorption is concerned. Before purchasing a treadmill, check the thickness of the belt. The thicker the belt, the better the treadmill. Some treadmills also come with a shock absorption deck underneath, so if you have sustained knee injuries in the past, it behooves you to look for the treadmill that comes with as much shock absorption as possible.


Correcting The Running Form

In some instances, we place our knees at risk because we are not running in the proper manner and when injuries inevitably take place, we have no one to blame but ourselves. The form that you use while running on your treadmill goes a long way towards determining your personal risk of injury. Those who run with poor form tend to twist their ankles, feet and legs, which leads to unnecessary torque on the knee.

Don't step ahead of your centre of gravity and try your best to run with the right posture. When you land, be sure to land on the balls of your feet, as opposed to the heels. Landing in the proper manner decreases shock absorption and allows the body to distribute its weight in the correct way. Run with your knees slightly bent as much as possible and if you are still unsure about your form, take the time to consult a personal trainer before risking injury.


Running At The Correct Pace

A treadmill is always going to turn at the same exact rate of speed and it does not matter if your body is ready or not. You'll want to start off as slowly as possible and gingerly adjust the speed as you become more accustomed to the pace. If you decide to get too far ahead of yourself and try to complete a high-intensity workout during the early stages of your running program, you can do serious damage to the health of your knees.

Adjust the speed as needed, and if you feel pain in the knees and legs that seems excessive, this is usually a sign that you will need to ratchet down the speed just a tad. Providing your body with the proper warm up and cool down period will work wonders when it comes to preserving the knees.


Avoid Running Too Frequently

Once we have access to a treadmill, it is difficult to avoid the temptation to run on an everyday basis. However, even those who adhere to the aforementioned tips and work on their running form with an athletic trainer are still placing their knees at risk when they decide to train too frequently.

Those who run too often are placing added strain on their knee ligaments, as well as the tendons. For maximum safety, experts recommend running on a treadmill no more than five days per week. If you feel even the slightest amount of pain, it is also recommended that you give yourself at least two days off, so that you can decrease your risk of injury. Training is important, but it also important to remember the importance of recovery.


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