Can you run with a torn meniscus? And are treadmills bad with knee pain? To be honest, the answer to these questions depends on a few issues. Let’s discuss some of them.
What Is A Torn Meniscus?
The meniscus is cartilage located between the tibia and femur bones around the knee. Tibia is the large shinbone while femur is the thighbone. The meniscus cushions the stress forces and weight subjected on cartilages around the knee joint as well as in all other joints within your body. Additionally, the meniscus acts as a shock absorber and gives your knee the stability it requires to function. Twisting or bending the knee with significant force may cause the meniscus to tear. A torn meniscus causes the knee to swell. This usually happens within one or two days if the injury is not severe. Afterwards, the knee becomes painful when you twist or bend the joint.
When the meniscus is torn, a tearing or popping experience happens as well as moderate or severe pain around the knee joint. The affected knee joint becomes very weak, and it becomes difficult to support any body weight. Consequently, the torn meniscus swells and stiffens, and it may prevent you from engaging in any active sport such as running. In severe situations, you need to visit a physician to determine the level of the damage and to prescribe medical treatment.
Can You Run With A Torn Meniscus?
Running with a torn meniscus will not only worsen the injury, but it will also reduce the ability of the knee to have a stabilized Movement. The joint becomes painful, and the knees become unreliable in weight-bearing functions like sports and running.
Results of Running with a Meniscus Tear
In cases where the tear is small or located near abundant blood supply, the condition tends to heal on its own. However, severe cases are treated with total bed rest. You are requested to rest the affected leg in an elevated position and constantly apply ice on the affected joint. After a period of two to three weeks, the physician may recommend some physical therapy for rehabilitation, such as feet extension for strengthening the affected the knee joint.
Do not go back to running activities yet, unless the physician informs you that you are safe to do so. Running with a torn meniscus can cause long-term or permanent damage to the joint. Extensive damage will require a knee operation and can take up to five months to recover fully.
Chronic meniscus caused by running with a torn meniscus or a cartilage that is not properly healed can lead to meniscectomy. This procedure involves trimming or removing of the affected part from the healthy cartilage to do away with knee weakness and popping as well as to reduce the pain in the joint. Majority of people who undergo this treatment recover. They can go back to sports, although in moderate sports activities only.
Are Treadmills Bad With Knee Pain?
Exercising with bad knees can be painful, but you can solve the problem by choosing the right kind of exercise. The exercise has to be one that increases your balance and stability while at the same time reduces the pain. The training should have a low impact and less weight such as walking on the treadmill. This enhances the bone density and helps the joint to be more flexible. The best treadmills for this type of walking exercise have features that help to reduce such stress on your knees.
When you have a knee problem and the physician clears you to use a treadmill you can choose one with a cushioned belt and enhanced stability. This will allow brisk walking with low impacts. This kind of treadmill can also reduce the impact on the knees by 40 percent when compared with a hard surface treadmill. Additionally, the gadget comes with adjustable settings to allow you to get the most suitable exercise for your condition. A treadmill rated 50 pounds more than your weight is the best for such a practice.
A Few Factors To Consider
The use of treadmill when you have bad knees depends on several factors:
Walking is a low impact exercise while running is a high impact one. When your workout is running, your knees will experience more pressure than when walking. Using an elliptical machine or walking on the treadmill results in a low impact on your body. However, running on the treadmill with painful knees will worsen the condition.
A treadmill gives a better cushion when compared to walking or running on the road. It also absorbs shock better. As a result, the treadmill provides a better running surface than the road and is a better alternative when having knee problems. However, a standard treadmill has a hard surface compared to well-cushioned surfaces like a cushioned truck or a golf course. With a painful knee, it’s advisable to use the cushioned type.
Research has shown that when you run or walk backwards on the treadmill, you reduce the force on your knees. This can be an alternative workout if you have painful knees. If you experience pain on your knees when you squat, backward walking on the treadmill can be helpful. Similarly, backward walking can move your rehabilitation forward when you are suffering from a hamstring injury and when you lack lower back or hamstring flexibility. Finally, there are perfectly designed shoes with plenty of shock absorbers that can take care of stress when using a treadmill with painful knees.