As you’ll often notice, I tend to write a lot about the backside.
Call it what you want (glutes, hips, posterior chain, derriere …), but always remember how important hip function is for not only protecting or fixing your back, but also for numerous other joints and tissues in your body.
Since I’ve already written at length about how the hips impact spine health, today I want to branch out a bit into hip function and knee health.
Over the course of the last little while I’ve had quite a few clients come into the clinic with fairly sudden onset of atraumatic knee pain. Basically, the pain came on without any falls or trauma to the knee itself.
I tend to see injuries in bunches. I’ll have periods of people with neck pain, a week of ankle sprains or a week where everyone is suffering from low back pain.
In this case, I wanted to figure out the commonality between all these people and their knee pain.
Sure enough, they were all runners.
As I’ve written before and as I’ll write again, people should get fit to run and not the other way around.
That is GET FIT TO RUN, DON’T RUN TO GET FIT.
What’s the problem with running to get fit?
There are huge numbers of issues with the above.
The most concerning is that running is a highly repetitive, extremely high volume, high impact activity.
Think of it this way: how many foot-falls or foot strikes will you have in a 10 minute run? In a 30 minute run? In a half-marathon? Marathon?
Now think of each of those steps as a repetition.
Now add in the fact that an individual may have been completely sedentary prior to starting to run.Or may have some bio-mechanical fault or compensation.
To me, that just seems like a dangerous mix.
High volume, high impact activity with an often poorly coordinated (lacking motor control) and de-conditioned body.
That, my friends, is a sure recipe for disaster, pain and injury.
The human body is an incredible marvel of engineering. It will adapt to almost any condition or stress placed upon it, with one major caveat: only if given the opportunity to adapt.
Runners, unfortunately, tend not to take heed.
Above all else, they will keep running.
Now, if you build a strong, sturdy foundation, there’s no problem with going out for a run.
In part 2 of this blog post, I’ll discuss why the hips and glutes are so important for runners and how just a few simple exercises can protect your knees and spine at the same time.
Yours in movement.