what-is-runners-knee

Are you experiencing knee pain? Regardless of whether you’re a runner, it may be possible that you’re suffering from “Runner’s Knee” (officially known as Patellofemoral Syndrome).

Like many other ailments, some people may have a general idea of what the symptoms are all about, but due to the name of this specific type of pain, a person with a sedentary lifestyle may dismiss the possibility of having “Runner’s Knee”.

The purpose of this blog is to clarify those misconceptions.

What Causes Runner’s Knee?

Any repetitive movement of your knee joints or wearing down of cartilage may cause runner’s knee. Some of the most common activities include:

  • Running
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Playing soccer
  • Skiing
  • Squatting
  • Kneeling
  • Jumping

Any of these activities, done for an extended period of time, may cause discomfort on your patella (the front part of your knee).

In addition to repetitive movement, Runner’s Knee may be caused by:

  • Trauma (falling, or being involved in an accident)
  • Dislocation
  • Muscles in thighs and hips are weak
  • Bones that aren’t lined up
  • Poor running form
  • Poor biking mechanics
  • Being overweight or obese

Runner’s Knee Symptoms

A person suffering from Runner’s Knee will feel pain in their patella (kneecap), sides, or around the kneecap. The pain can either be continuous and dull or sharp and sudden. In addition, the person will experience:

  • Pain that gets worse with movement
  • Swelling of the knee
  • Cracking sound of the knees when getting up
  • Stiffness of the knee after extended periods of rest
  • Limited mobility

Left untreated, the pain won’t decrease with the passage of time, and may feel worse when going up and down stairs, or up or downhill.

Runner’s Knee Treatment Options

If you’re an athlete, this one may be a tough pill to swallow, but you’ll have to decrease your level of activity, at least until you’re recovered from your injury. In addition, a person suffering from runner’s knee should:

  • Ice the knee to decrease swelling
  • Support the knee with a brace
  • Elevate the knee

How to Prevent Runner’s Knee

One of the best ways to prevent Runner’s Knee is through strength training exercises (see here for a list of suggestions). Having stronger muscles surrounding the patella will alleviate the pressure on the kneecaps.

Strengthening your core is also a good way to prevent putting so much stress on your knees. For a list of suggested core exercises, see here.

And while Runner’s Knee isn’t a condition that exclusively affects runners, if you are a runner, in addition to strength training, switch your running route to softer surfaces, such as sand, grass, a track, or a treadmill.

If you’re a cyclist, look into adjusting the height of your saddle.

Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today

At The Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If knee pain is preventing you from doing the things you love, let us help you.

Contact us to schedule an appointment.

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