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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

How running slow could be worsening your knee pain

🐢How running slow could be worsening your knee pain🤕


🤓New research has shed some light on the effects of running speed on patellofemoral joint loads.


In this recent study by Eoin Doyle they took 20 recreational runners (10 male, 10 female) & examined patellofemoral forces running at 4 different speeds: 2.5m/s (6:40 min/km), 3.1 m/s (5:23 min/km), 3.6 m/s (4:38 min/km) & 4.2 m/s (3:58 min/km).


🔑What they found was whilst patellofemoral joint loads INCREASED with each step at faster speeds, the cumulative load over a given distance actually DECREASED. This was most notable when increasing from 6:40min/km to 5:23min/km with a 17% decrease in PF force.


The explanation for these findings is that whilst the load per step increased at faster speeds, when running faster you will take LESS steps to cover a set distance, and therefore less total load. These findings certainly fit what we have seen anecdotally with a subset of runners with patellofemoral pain better tolerating faster runs.


🙋🏼‍♂️What does this mean for those with knee pain?

🔑If reducing patellofemoral joint load is an objective, slightly increasing your pace on your easy runs could result in less pain, and allow you to continue running. However, I would advise this strategy only be temporary to settle down an irritable knee, and once better, revert back to your correct pace zones.

👋Runners & health professionals, like & share this to help others!





📚Reference

  • Doyle, E., et al. (2022). THE INFLUENCE OF SPEED ON PATELLOFEMORAL JOINT KINETICS IN RECREATIONAL RUNNERS.

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