The terror of the runners: the knee of the corridor

Miguel Ángel Martínez

15 April, 2015

Many corridors have suffered it and they suffer it. It is a pain that appears while training or competing on the anterior and external knee and which becomes very obvious when flexing the joint. And when this happens we come to the head two questions: how do we avoid the appearance? How can we accelerate the recovery?

The knee of the runner is the second injury with the highest prevalence among regular running practitioners. It is known as pemelemoral pain or iliotibial band syndrome. It is caused by the rubbing of the lapel with the fascia lata or tape of Maissiat, other names with which the iliotibial band is known, a tendinous structure that plays a primarily postural function, but that also regulates the internal rotation of the thigh during the march or the race.

Why does it appear?
This is an injury due to excessive use, that is, due to the systematic repetition of the flexoextension of the knee. There are internal risk factors, such as inadequate mechanics in the gambada, excess pronation or lack of muscular tone in the thigh (usually, athletes who suffer from this injury present hypotonia of the vast internal quadriceps). The appearance of this injury has been related to the low flexibility of the knee flexors, the muscular group known as ischiosurals.

There are external risk factors, for example, running over a too rigid surface such as cement or asphalt, or running on sloping terrain, especially those of a transverse incline. It may also appear due to poor training scheduling, especially if you increase the volume with excessive brusquity.

How can you prevent this injury?
Due to the variability of the possible causes, it may be difficult to apply prophylactic action. In any case, it is advisable not to train solely on lands too hard and avoid slopes.

It is equally important to follow a training plan that is appropriate to the current level of performance and that the evolution of the volume of kilometers that it runs does not have sudden variations. Sometimes sports models of higher levels are applied to people with little or no previous preparation, which is too demanding for the muscular and articular structures of these people.

A great ally: compensatory training
Compensatory training has the general objective of reducing the tension in areas with the highest level of demand and improving muscle strength and muscle resistance that can favor the correct functioning of the most requested structures.

To reduce the risk of suffering from this injury, stretching exercises should be applied to the knee flexors and the anterior rectum of the quadriceps, as they are muscle structures involved in all gestures of the walk and which, due to their character biarticular and postural function, tend to accumulate a lot of tension, shorten and produce joint imbalances.

It is equally important to perform toning exercises on specific muscle groups. The vast internal quadriceps, and the external hip rotators must be the protagonists to prevent this injury. The first one is activated in the last degrees of the extension of the knee and when "open" squats are made, that is to say, with the feet slightly more separated in relation to the standard position. Increasing the strength of the vast internal will control the tendency of the kneecap to be directed towards the outside of the joint and, therefore, the crack with the fascia lata. With greater muscle strength of the external hip rotations, we will control the internal rotation of the thigh.

The injury known as the "runner's knee" is a tendinopathy of the fascia lata. It is a very common pathology among the practitioners of the race. To avoid it, it is necessary to follow a training program adapted to the level of the athlete and not abuse the performance of exercise in excessively hard and sloping terrain.

It can play an important protective role to follow a pattern of compensatory exercises based on increased plasticity of muscle groups with excessive tone, and increased strength and muscle strength of the vast internal quadriceps and hip hip rotators .

the author

Miguel Ángel Martínez

Master in Physiology. Bachelor's Degree in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences. Superior Technician in Animation of Physical-Sports Activities

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