If you’re suffering from runner’s knee, you want to stop it in its tracks before it gets worse. In today’s post, we’ll share some helpful information to help in runner’s knee treatment and prevention.
When you feel a sudden onset of aching and throbbing in your knee, then listen to your body, you may have runner’s knee. This condition can be annoying at best and incapacitating at worst. Even if you haven’t experienced this condition before, there is a high possibility that you will experience this condition in the future.
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What Is Runner’s Knee?
This is a blanket term you would label conditions that affect the front of the knees and the kneecap. It’s called as such because those who run regularly tend to struggle with this condition. Frequent and strenuous running can weaken the muscles around the knees and can cause imbalances.
The amount of pain and stiffness varies – that’s why it’s essential to have a correct diagnosis of your condition so your healthcare provider can devise a proper runner’s knee treatment plan for you.
Runner’s knee is a common condition. Even if you’re not a keen runner, but you have a rather active daily lifestyle, you’re bound to experience runner’s knee at one point or another.
What symptoms should you be looking for? How do you prevent it? What exercises can I do? We’ll try to answer those common questions in today’s post. For a professional consultation with an experienced physical therapist, please don’t hesitate to contact our clinic.
Common Conditions Associated with Runner’s Knee
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) is the medical term for runner’s knee. It’s a pain experienced in the front of the knee and right behind the kneecap – which is also called the patella. The patella, or kneecap, and what’s called the femur connects the patellofemoral joint in the knee.
PFPS is caused by too much movement in the patella that sits in the hollow the femur due to overuse or poor alignment between the hip and the knees. In some cases, the area under the kneecap creates a rough surface and gets worn.
IT Band Friction Syndrome
Another type of runner’s knee condition is called the iliotibial band syndrome. Also called IT band friction or IT band syndrome, this condition affects more men than women. On top of that, it can also happen to the novice and advanced runners.
When the connective tissues that run to the outside of the knees from the outside of the hip become inflamed or tight, IT band syndrome occurs. The pain manifests on the exterior of the knee as it moves from a straightened position to an extended one.
An effective runner’s knee treatment for this condition is to take a break. This will prevent the condition from ever becoming chronic. Of course, an expert diagnosis from a professional healthcare provider is still necessary before starting a runner’s knee treatment program.
Minor wear and tear on the meniscus, which is the shock-absorbing defense layer of the knee, can lead to pain. This pain manifests in the knee, and in some cases, it’s too painful that you can’t touch it.
The patellar tendon can be found in front of the knees. When the patellar tendon gets strained or inflamed, which is a condition commonly known as tendonitis, the pain is felt on the knees – especially when you’re squatting, sitting for long periods, or climbing up and down the stairs.
Fibular Head Instability
This is a lesser common type of runner’s knee. However, in some cases, fibular head instability is manifested on the outside of the knee, which is similar to the IT band friction syndrome – that’s why it’s common to confuse the two.
Runner’s Knee Treatment and Prevention
Wear the right type of shoes. This is very important, no matter what level of runner you are. Ill-fitting or the wrong type of shoes can contribute to runner’s knee. The right type of running shoes can also help maximize and optimize your performance as a runner.
Having the right type of shoes is not enough. You also need to replace them every so often. Over time and as you increase your mileage, your shoes will start to wear down. So it’s only sensible to replace them if you’re a keen runner.
Another tip for runner’s knee treatment and prevention is to strengthen your body and core. We can recommend exercises that will help you achieve this.
If you’re already dealing with pain, please contact us for runner’s knee treatment plan and exercise programs.