Self.com: In order to avoid knee pain, Dr. Tehrany recommends running on softer surfaces
The most comprehensive resource and community for wellness and other important aspects of a person’s life, Self.com, has recently published an article that educates the runners on how to avoid knee pain and prevent knee injurieswhile running.
Running is a fantastic physical activity that works up the entire body, however, it is still commonly associated with knee pain. The joints, especially the knees, can suffer a variety of orthopedic conditions due to weak body muscles that are not able to take on the pressure of the repetitive motions and the pounding.
A number of factors can cause the knee discomfort and knee pain, however, one factor that runners can immediately control is the running surface, the factor that the article keeps the focus on.
For the purpose of the story, the editor at Self.com, asked Dr. Armin Tehrany, a top New York knee doctor, to weigh in with his professional opinion on the importance and the impact of the running surface.
As an orthopedic doctor who always cordially jumps into an opportunity to share educational orthopedic knowledge and facts, Dr. Tehrany gladly accepted the invitation to provide valuable expertise on how the running surface impacts the knee health.
According to Dr. Tehrany, because of the small number of comprehensive studies on the topic, there is still no definitive evidence to bring out one terrain as the winning running surface. The studies that have been done so far involve only a small group of runners and the results can’t be considered as comprehensive.
The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport has published a study done on 44 adult runners that compared running on asphalt and natural grass. For the purpose of the study, the runners wore specials insoles that measured the pressure of the foot at different points on the foot as the foot struck the ground. The study showed that natural grass puts less pressure on the rearfoot and forefoot. Moreover, it also revealed that the peak pressure was almost 12 percent greater on asphalt compared with the peak pressure measured on the grass.
The research studies don’t take into consideration the differences between individual runners, however, the consensus is that soft surfaces provide better running conditions because they cause less pressure, hence, less pain and discomfort in the knees.
“The stress and impact of pressure from the foot and heel striking the ground affect the knee joint,” Tehrany says. “The softer the surface, the lesser the impact.”
In addition, the soft surfaces give the body more time to adjust to the surface, allowing the impact to be shared and absorbed by different parts of the foot, and the other joints, bones, and soft tissues as well.
In conclusion, Dr. Tehrany highlights the fact that different runners are comfortable on different terrains. Based on his extensive experience in providing treatment for knee pain in runners, Dr. Tehrany recommends running on grass or any other soft surface that also provides a little bounce while running.
The treadmill is one of the most recommended running solutions because one big benefit for the foot: the even surface that eliminates the risk of tripping or hitting an uneven spot.
“Most treadmills are designed for long-distance running,” Dr. Tehrany concludes, “so if a person is comfortable running on one and doesn’t feel pain, it is fine.”
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