Does Treadmill Cause Knee Pain?
Treadmills are great workout machines for running, walking, and doing all sorts of exercises. From high-intensity workouts to light recovery training, you can get it all. But there are some myths, or I’d like to say confusions about this running machine. And the question that we often hear from lots of people is, do treadmills cause knee pain?
The answer is no, running on a treadmill does not cause knee pain. Unless you have a pre-existing injury or medical conditions such as infections, gout, or arthritis. Running in the wrong method or excessive intense workouts might also cause knee pain. But in most cases, treadmill workouts won’t hurt your knee.
Treadmills nowadays also have updated features like cushioning tread belt or deck that absorbs the impact of running. And less pressure on the joints means less chance of knee pain.
Does Treadmill Cause Knee Pain?
What might cause knee pain
A healthy running habit on the treadmill will rarely bring you any sorts of injuries including knee pain. But what are the odds of having knee pain on the treadmill, let’s find out.
Pre-existing injuries or medical conditions
By pre-existing injury, I mean an injury that you had recently or might be years ago. Some sort of medical condition related to the knee might also cause knee pain, like arthritis. In that case, you’ll have to find the best exercise machine for arthritic knees.
However, having an injured knee does not mean you can’t do workouts on a treadmill. In fact, tons of recovery programs start with slow and smooth treadmill workout sessions. And you’ll also find the best treadmill workout for bad knees has simple and slow layouts that don’t put pressure on your knees.
Unhealthy treadmill habit
Running on a lower incline like 0% or less might put extra pressure on your knee. And the higher the pressure the greater the chance of your knees getting hurt. Because when running, our knee goes through at least two to three times more pressure than our body weight. And increasing the incline reduces a certain amount of pressure, which is easier on the joint.
Another thing that is very common among the runners, especially new runners is not warming up. Doing warm-ups is very important before not only running but all sorts of exercise and sports.
How to prevent knee pain on the treadmill
Maintaining some simple and easy tweaks can prevent the risk of knee pain while you are exercising. These will help you to be prepared not only for knee pain but also for common treadmill injuries.
Here are few simple tips from Lucky13Fitness.
1. Don’t skip warm-ups
This falls into the category of basic but warming up before running on the treadmill is a must. It’s simple yet super effective. And not only for the treadmill, but it will also help in all sorts of workouts and sports.
Doing simple stretches before jumping on the running machine is a great thing to do. There are various sorts of stretches that’ll work for you. Butterfly stretch, Hamstring curls, Step-ups are some great warm-ups before you hop on to the real thing.
2. Pick a decent pair of shoes and equipment
Choosing shoes that are made for running is also important. Shoes absorb some portion of impact force while we are running. And most importantly they improve our foot positioning and posture while running, which makes it easier for our knees. So, pick a decent pair of shoes that are dedicated to running or suitable for acrobatics. You can also wear a knee cap for the treadmill to reduce impact force on the knees.
There are lots of advanced features available in treadmills nowadays. And one of them is the shock-absorbing tread belt or treadmill deck. These treadmills basically reduce the amount of pressure your knees face when you run. That results in fewer possibilities of knee pain.
3. Increasing muscle strength
There’s no doubt that strong muscle can handle more pressure. And strengthening up joint muscle can be a great and permanent way to prevent knee pain. It’s not a thing that you can accomplish overnight but it will surely bring you results. So, focus on increasing muscle strength around the joints for better stability not only on the treadmill but also everywhere.
4. Loosing up some weight
Excessive weight puts a tremendous amount of pressure on our joints. You might be walking day after day but not realizing that the extra weight is damaging your body slowly. Try carrying a 20 pounds backpack all day and you’ll notice the amount of toll your body takes for every pound of extra weight. So, try to keep your BMI (Body Mass Index) under control, it will help with the knee pain and also solve a bunch of other problems.
You can also check out the post about age-proofing your knees on the Harvard Medical School page.
Knee pain can be a nightmare for runners, and if you are one of the people who love to run, it might be even worse. However, there are a bunch of myths about treadmills and this is one of them.
But the truth is, running on a treadmill does not create knee pain unless you have a bad knee. In fact, this can be used in a recovery program for several injuries. For example, the best treadmill workout for bad knees will be slowly walking.
So, if you had doubts in your mind about treadmill knee pain treatment, hope this will help you a bit. Stay fit, stay healthy!