Do back supports, knee braces, ‘skins’ or other gadgets help? By Marathon Physio Lucy Macdonald

 

Back supports

Back supports can be great if you are wearing them for a couple of days during a flare up but no longer than this because they can result in your back muscles becoming weaker and therefore result in longer term problems. If you have back pain during or after running, make sure you get booked in with Lucy and her physio team and then you don’t have to worry about it getting worse.

 

‘Skins’

‘Skins’ and other similar brands provide very tightly fitted items of clothing, claim to benefit circulation and improve performance and recovery. However, there is no conclusive independent medical research to support these claims. A low level of discomfort in the muscles after intensive training or strength work is normal (you can read more about this above) but if it is interrupting your ability to train, is localised to particular body parts or does not resolve before your next training session then it is important to review your training and have an assessment with Lucy and her physio team.

 

Knee braces and joint supports

Knee braces or other joint supports do not provide structural support unless you buy the super expensive carbon fibre ones that are generally too bulky for running. However, neoprene knee supports can provide both sensory and warming benefits to the knee that can reduce pain. The metal hinges will not give any additional benefit so choose something that fits well and is super comfortable. There is no need to spend much money, the cheaper ones can be just as effective as the more expensive ones. If you have knee pain, the sooner you get it checked out the less likely it is to interrupt your marathon training so book in with Lucy and her physio team now.  

 

More marathon physio advice 

Follow @octopusclinic on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and/or Lucy Macdonald on YouTube to access our latest free videos on marathon training and injury prevention. If you would like our marathon handbook and are running for charity please contact Lucy Macdonald directly on lucymacdonaldphysio@hotmail.co.uk or if you would like to get the video course Your Marathon: Your Physio please click on the link. 

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