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Health Tip: Preventing Knee Pain

Try these suggestions

(HealthDay News) -- Runners, jumpers and other athletes put heavy stress on their knees.

"Runner's knee" is a term some people use to refer to a number of medical conditions that can cause pain around the front of the knee (patellofemoral pain).

To avoid knee pain, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine offer these suggestions:

  • Stay in shape. Good general conditioning is important to controlling or preventing patellofemoral pain. If you're too heavy, you may need to lose weight to avoid overstressing your knees. Before running or beginning any other exercise, do a five-minute warm up, followed by stretching exercises.
  • Stretch. Stretching, particularly in the face-down position (prone), will help keep flexible the supporting structures around the front of the knee, and make them less likely to be irritated by exercise. Stretch before and after exercise.
  • Increase training gradually. Avoid sudden changes in the intensity of exercise.
  • Use proper running gear. Running shoes should have good shock absorption and quality construction. Be sure shoes fit properly and are in good condition. If you have flat feet, you may need shoe inserts.
  • Use proper running form. Lean forward and keep the knees bent. Also, try to run on a clear, smooth, and reasonably soft surface. Never run straight down a steep hill. Walk down it, or run in a zig-zag pattern.
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