If Your Knees Do This You Shouldn’t Be Running

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On a recent trip to Mexico, I saw this woman running as my wife and I were riding bikes to the beach. From a distance, I could see her “form” didn’t look good. Can you see what’s wrong? The untrained eye may simply see that her form looks (for lack of a better term), “herky jerky.” As I approached her, I could see it was because both knees have instability. As you watch the video, when she lands on each foot, the knees buckle outward. The right is worse than the left.

Why is this happening? She likely has ligament laxity (loose ligaments) and/or the muscles that help stabilize the lateral knee are inhibited or weak. Running like this is damaging her knees. If her knees aren’t talking to her yet, they will be soon. She may be able to reduce this if she were to have her lower extremity neuromuscular stabilization mechanisms evaluated and treated, improve her running mechanics, and learn to run lighter on her feet. Until this happens, this is a good example of someone who shouldn’t be running!