Runner's Knee Treatment (Patellafemoral Knee Pain)
Explaining Runner's Knee
What is Runner's Knee (Patellafemoral Pain Syndrome)?
If you’re an active person who enjoys running or other sports, and you’re facing chronic knee pain in the area surrounding and behind the knee cap, you may be dealing with patellafemoral pain syndrome (also known as Runner’s Knee). If so, you are looking online for a safe and effective runner’s knee treatment.
The patella (knee cap) is sheathed in a cushioned complex of muscles, tendons and cartilage that must all work in unison to support and move the leg properly. Overuse injuries (such as patellar tendinitis or bursitis of the knee) as well as the signs of aging (like knee arthritis, gout and deterioration of the cartilage) can all play a part in bringing on chronic knee pain, but the most common cause is the strain and impact caused by running. All of these injuries lead people to seek out effective forms of runner’s knee treatment or runner’s knee pain relief.
Understandably, then, the individuals most prone to develop patellafemoral pain syndrome are athletes involved in sports that require a lot of running, like soccer or track and field events. Hence, the condition’s common name, Runner’s Knee.
But you don’t have to be an athlete to deal with this common cause of chronic knee pain.
Runner's Knee Symptoms
- Progressively worsening pain behind the knee cap
- Knee buckling
- A grinding or popping sensation in the knee when in use
It’s normal for runners and other active people to deal with soreness and pain in muscles and joints for a day or more after an intense workout. But chronic pain that starts at the workout and gets progressively worse is likely a sign of injury or a chronic inflammation.
Runner’s knee is an inflammation of the cartilage behind the kneecap that involves pain behind and surrounding the patella, usually beginning after a particularly strenuous period of exercise. But, unlike standard next-day soreness, this knee pain eventually progresses to the point of interfering with everyday activities such as walking and going down stairs. It can even cause pain when the knee is stationary in a bent position (such as while sitting at a desk or on the couch).
In some cases, the sufferer’s knee will buckle, losing stability and being unable to support the individual’s weight any longer. Audible grinding or popping sounds, or a feeling like the knee is “catching” as it bends can also accompany the progressive pain of runner’s knee. All of these painful symptoms require an effective Runner’s Knee Treatment such as our KS7 Compression Knee Sleeve..
Runner's Knee Causes and Risk Factors
- Consistent over exertion
- Poorly balanced muscle development
- Excess weight
- Inflexibility (especially of the hamstring and quadriceps)
- Overpronation, underpronation, or flat feet
- Congenital hip/ankle/knee imbalances
Runner’s knee is a blanket term that describes a number of different conditions resulting in chronic knee pain. In most cases, it is caused by the wearing down and inflammation of the cartilage that lines the area between the femur (thigh bone), the tibula (shin bone) and the patella (knee cap). It can also include tendon or ligament tears in the same area, or bursitis (an inflammation of the fluid-filled bursae that serve as lubricants to the knee’s movement).
Damage can be done due to a number of reasons, some of which are out of an individual’s control. For instance, women are more likely to develop runner’s knee because the relative shape and position of their hips tends to produce more stress on the knee joint when running than a man’s. Other congenital imbalances or shaping of the hip, ankle, or knee joints can cause similar undue stress on the knee, making runner’s knee more likely, requiring an individual to seek out an effective runner’s knee treatment.
Similarly, those with conditions involving the structure of the foot, such as overpronation (a tendency to run on the inside of the bottom of the foot), underpronation (running on the outside of the bottom of the foot), flat feet or fallen arches, will inadvertently place additional stress on the knee joint during use.
For obvious reasons, those who are overweight are more prone to suffering damage to the joints of the lower extremities, as are those with leg muscles that are overly tight and inflexible or that are dramatically out of balance in development.
By far the most common cause of patellarfemoral pain syndrome, however, is simple overuse due to the stress and impact caused by running.
Runner's Knee Treatment
Runner’s Knee Treatment can reduce and prevent the pain caused by patellarfemoral pain syndrome by:
- Reducing the inflammation
- Lessening or eliminating the causes of knee joint stress
- Supporting the patella and the knee structure during activity
If you can accomplish those three goals, you should note pain relief very quickly.
Doctors providing runner’s knee treatment will recommend the following options for accomplishing this:
- Rest – Get off your feet as much as possible when the pain is at its worst. If you must walk or run, keep in mind that any activity that requires bending the knee will result in pain, especially walking downhill or down stairs.
- Ice – Use ice on the knee immediately after exercise and (if necessary) several times a day to help reduce swelling.
- OTC Pain Relievers – Take Motrin, Advil, or other over-the-counter pain relievers that contain ibuprofen or naproxen to help lessen the inflammation and ease pain.
- Stretches – Stretch your quadriceps, calves, and hamstrings repeatedly before, during, and after exercise to keep the muscles and tendons limber.
- Strengthening – Strength training focused on balanced conditioning of the knee joint and surrounding muscles will help stabilize and strengthen the entire structure.
- Compression Knee Sleeve – A knee stabilizing support that will apply medical grade pressure to the joint during activity, reducing strain and allowing it to heal while easing pain.
- Cortisone – If none of the above helps, your doctor may prescribe regular injections of cortsone to control the pain, although this would be rarely used since corticosteroids tend to weaken tendons and can increase the chances of further complications.
- Surgery – As a last resort, your doctor may attempt surgery to repair the knee.