So How Long Should Recovery Take
Research suggests that doing exercises that strengthen the knees and hips 3 to 4 times a week for 6 weeks can help decrease knee pain.
But if nothing is working after 3 weeks and you still have significant pain, seeing a doctor or physical therapist is your best next step.
Starting with the exercises listed is sufficient for acute pain, says Win. From there, I typically would progress them into more functional exercises or runner-specific. This could be jumps, hops, and landing mechanics, which is important to implement before going full on running again.
You may need further evaluation with a CT scan, X-ray, or MRI to determine if there is an underlying cause.
Win also mentions that recovery really depends on the individual and the diagnosis behind the knee pain. Typically, recovery can take about 6 weeks.
Other Knee Injuries Can Feel Like Runner’s Knee
Many other conditions can cause knee painand some feel similar to runner’s knee. This includes small cracks in the kneecap called stress fractures, tendonitis, torn ligaments, cysts, and arthritis. Some peopleespecially older folkscan have arthritis and runner’s knee at the same time.
There’s no single test that pinpoints patellofemoral pain syndrome. Sometimes, your doctor can diagnose it by asking you about your symptoms, examining you, and watching your knees as you perform movements like one-legged squats. In other cases, he or she may order X-rays, an MRI, or other imaging tests to rule out other knee injuries or conditions, Dr. Kaeding says.
A Physical Therapist May Want To Change The Way You Walk
Gait retrainingwhere a physical therapist recommends specific ways to change the way you walk or runalso appears to help ease runner’s knee pain, especially in combination with a strengthening program.
In general, taking shorter, faster steps takes pressure off your knees, Dr. Vincent says. If you run, he recommends counting the number of steps you take per minute. Get a number below 160? Speeding it up by 5 to 10% can reduce the load on your joints and alleviate knee pain.
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Physical Therapy To Fix Runners Knee
Limiting the symptoms is great and all but how do we actually Fix Runners knee? Typically, the first step is with the glutes. I dont care if you are a knee, back, ankle, or hip patient. Im going to give you glute work. The glutes are your base of support for most of your body. I think they are more important even than the core muscles at providing stability for the body. There, I said it.
If you want to talk about the gold standard for treating and fixing Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome? Then Gluteal activation, strengthening, and dynamic alignment training are it. Side note here, I hate using the word alignment, thanks to some professions it has been blown way out of line for what it is. But here it is appropriate due to the fact that muscle imbalances, either due to lack of mobility or strength, cause the femur to rotate and not align properly under the patella as it should.
What Should I Do About Achilles Pain When I Run
To treat achilles pain at home, Andy recommends applying ice to the area if you can feel a lump there . You can also gently massage the area with your fingers.
You could also try using heel wedges in your shoes. Get advice about this from a sports or running shop.
See a GP or a physiotherapist if you have achilles pain that does not disappear after 3 to 4 weeks.
If you have a sudden, sharp pain, your achilles tendon may have torn. See a GP straight away if this is the case.
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Hip Alignment For Runners
Hip alignment refers to the idea that your pelvis should be level from side to side and not rotated forward or backwards.
Due to the constant pounding of running, it is not uncommon for runners to find their hips get out of whack.what resolves that is first the chiropractor and then allllll the hip, glute and core work Im going to mention below.
My right leg is shorter and Ive heard this from many chiros, so we agreed that was probably not an issue since Ive been running just fine with it for many, many years.
- Yes, you can run pain free with one leg shorter
- If youve always done it without issue and didnt even know it existed, its fine
- BUT if this is a new shift in your pelvis that could be causing issues
Will Strengthening Help Fix Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Myofascial Release/Graston/ART/Gua Sha can help Iliotibial Band Syndrome
These are all techniques that apply manual massage directly to the muscles around the knee. While this therapy can be effective it is important to apply the correct amount of pressure to ensure you do not further damage any muscles or tendons. Too much pressure, too little pressure or the wrong kind of pressure can lead to ineffective treatment and worsening of Runners Knee.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Runners Knee
Patellofemoral syndrome is commonly described to be a dull ache located inside of your knee cap, or patella. You may also experience the sensation of rubbing, grinding, or clicking under the patella. When this issue is acute, the knee cap may be tender to touch.
In addition to sports and exercise, symptoms of patellofemoral pain syndrome will be present with any activities that involve bending or straightening your knee while weight bearing, such as:
- Standing up from or sitting on a chair
- Going up or down stairs
Symptoms Of Runners Knee
The most common symptom of runners knee is tenderness or pain behind or on the sides of the patella, usually toward the center or back of the knee where the thighbone and kneecap meet. In addition, the knee might be swollen.
The pain will generally feel worse when bending the knee when walking, kneeling, squatting, or running, for example. Walking or running downhill or even down a flight of steps also can lead to pain if someone has runners knee. So can sitting for a long period of time with your knee bent, such as in a movie theater.
In some cases, someone with runners knee may notice a popping or cracking sensation in the knee, as well as a feeling that the knee may be giving out.
If it goes untreated for a long period of time, runners knee can damage the cartilage of the knee and hasten the development of arthritis.
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Stage : Modify Your Activity
When it comes to exercise, running obviously isnt the only game in town. That may be hard to hear if you love running more than anything. But modifying your exercise activity is a good way to take pressure off an injured knee while maintaining your general fitness, even if its just for the short term. We often recommend cycling, rowing, cross training and swimming as temporary alternatives. The muscle strengthening you do with these activities will pay dividends in your running, when youre ready to resume the old routines.
What Are The Symptoms Of Runner’s Knee
These are the most common symptoms of runner’s knee:
Pain in and around the kneecap that happens when you are active. Or pain after sitting for a long time with the knees bent. This sometimes causes weakness or feelings of instability.
Rubbing, grinding, or clicking sound of the kneecap that you hear when you bend and straighten your knee
Kneecap that is tender to the touch
The symptoms of runner’s knee may look like other conditions and health problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
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Treatment Of Runners Knee
Once the diagnosis and underlying cause of runners knee have been established, a physician can prescribe a course of treatment. Most cases are treated without surgery.
Common treatments for runners knee include:
- R.I.C.E. may be advised to reduce the initial symptoms of runners knee. This protocol will be particularly important if the symptoms are manifesting for the first time.
- Over-the-counter or prescribed anti-inflammatory medications.
- Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee and hip, stretch any tight muscles, and retrain the muscles to contract appropriately during sports and activity.
- Shoe inserts may benefit a subset of individuals with abnormal foot structure or movement patterns while running.
- A patellar brace or taping to maintain proper tracking of the patella during knee movement.
- Correction of training errors, such as the rate of increase in running volume and speed. In general, up to a 10% to 15% increase in either running volume or speed is safe on the patellofemoral joint.
If non-surgical methods fail to resolve the situation, surgery may be recommended.
Top 7 Ways To Treat Your Runners Knee
Although runners knee is quite common among runners, its not really one specific injury. Its actually a broad term that is used to describe knee pain that runners can experience for many different reasons. If you see a doctor for your runners knee, he will probably call it patellofemoral pain syndrome. Today you will find out what is the fastest way to get rid of runners knee?
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Physical Therapy Exercises To Prevent And Treat Runners Knee
The focus of treatment is to alleviate pain and restore any biomechanical dysfunctions aggravating the joint complex.
The first priority is to control the symptoms to keep you running and have a good amount of load or stress placed on the joint with minimal pain. This helps the tissues develop and adapt to the changes we are making for the given activity you want to do, in this case, running.
Is Exercise An Effective Treatment For Runners Knee
In many cases, rehabilitation exercises and stretches may be effective for treating runners knee.
According to research published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, performing a series of knee- and hip-strengthening exercises three times a week for six weeks may be an effective way to decrease knee pain and improve physical activity.
Additionally, a 2007 study found that using personalized physical therapy exercises to strengthen the quadriceps and increase flexibility was more effective than knee braces or taping the knee. And, in some cases, strengthening exercises may be more effective than taking NSAIDs.
A physical therapist can help you determine which exercises will be most effective for you based on your situation. They can help you find exercises to target and stretch specific areas. Theyll also be able to observe if you have a muscular imbalance that needs to be corrected.
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Fix Knee Pain By Resolving Knee Drift
After talking with my new stellar sports physical therapist, we agreed that my hips are pretty much always a little off even after adjustment.
Then he looked down at my foot and said, look how your foot is falling inward while you simply stand still.
Below is an image of me running to help you understand what falling in means .
Whats called knee valgus, is particularly common in female runners, due to whats known as the Q-angle from wider hips. The result is more common issues with runners knee, IT Band pain and ankles, if we dont do the right strength work.
The knee drift could be caused by foot pronation, weak hips or misaligned hips.
- Checkout my 30 Day Core Runner Program 10 minutes a day will help resolve so many runner injuries
- Start with hip and glute strength BEFORE adding a running insole to your shoe
- Dont think its something you have to live with, running should not be painful.
How To Treat Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome In Runners
Ask any physical therapist or orthopedic surgeon and you will, annoyingly, get different answers from them all. There are so many different schools of thought on treating it and even more answers and advice on the internet.
Unfortunately, mine might not be the best advice for you. That is why a good and thorough evaluation by a physical therapist is always recommended.
However, I do have tips that will help you prevent or help you at least rule things out. These things will make you a better runner and shouldnt cause any other issues or make the issue worse.
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Know When To Take It Easy
Maybe you tweaked your knee again or feel it acting up? Learn to take your training down a notch.
When youre trying to treat runners knee you must know when to take it easy. Because pushing it too hard when injured doesnt do you any good.
So take a deep breath and dial back the miles, or the intensity, or the speed, or all 3 of those, and let your body heal.
How To Prevent Runners Knee
To prevent runners knee, I will list a few exercises and stretches you can perform to strengthen and stretch the muscles that hold your knee in place.
It is important to remember that if you are experiencing knee pain, use your Physician as a resource and request a referral to a Physical Therapist so you can be evaluated on alignment and running form.
You may also seek the assistance of a coach to assess your form and advise you on strengthening exercises. Also, your Providers can order orthotics to help with your overpronation if the OTC shoe inserts are not helpful.
Try out the following stretches and exercises:
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Stretches That Help Runners Knee
In many cases, patellofemoral pain syndrome originates from tissues that are too tight. As a result, these tissues will alter the mechanics of your knee joint and produce pain and swelling. Here are few stretches that can help you reduce your pain:
Iliotibial Band Foam Roll
- Lay on your side and place the foam roll under the bottom leg
- Start with the foam roll near your knee
- Slowly move your body down towards the foam roll using your arms and leg
- Slowly roll up and down the band until you start to sense of release in tension
- Stand with one hand on the wall for balance
- Lift your ankle up towards your buttock and grab your ankle
- Pull your ankle upwards until a stretch is felt along the front of the thigh
- Hold until you begin to sense a release in tension
- Sit on a chair with one foot forward and one foot back
- Straighten your back and bend through your hips
- Continue until you start to sense a stretch along the back of the leg that is further forward
- Hold until you begin to sense a release in tension
- Stand in a lunge position with both hands on the wall
- Keep the back heel against the floor and lunge forward
- Continue until a stretch is felt in the calf region of the back leg
- Hold until you begin to sense a release in tension
What Is Runners Knee
Before suggesting solutions for how to fix runners knee it will be helpful to explain what runners knee is and what it is not.
Runners knee is not a condition in itself. Runners Knee is more a throwaway term applied commonly to a variety of knee conditions brought on for a variety of reasons.
Ill try not to include too much technical medical jargon here as I know it can be difficult for many to comprehend. After all this isnt a medical document, and Im not a knee specialist.
So, simply speaking there are two types of knee complaint that can be deemed to constitute runners knee
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How Do You Fix Runners Knee
Do you get a pain on the outside of the knee while you run? You may be experiencing Runners knee also known as patellofemoral syndrome. Runners knee is one of the most common injuries experienced by runners. It is caused by damage to the cartilage under the kneecap. The cartilage under the kneecap is a natural shock absorber. This may develop when the knee is overused or injured.
Pain Itself Is The Problem
Many theories about the nature of the damage underlying the pain of PFPS have come and gone. The reason behind this revolving door of proposed etiologies is that, unlike other injuries such as knee meniscus damage, there is often no obvious structural abnormality associated with PFPS, whether the joint is examined by X-ray, MRI, or surgical arthroscope. Within the past 15 years, this reality has lead orthopedists to a revised view of PFPS in which pain itself is regarded as the essence of the injury. This, in turn, has led to a new approach to treatment that focuses on symptom management rather than healing.
In the past , if you were diagnosed with PFPS as a runner you would be advised to stop running. Today, however, experts like Greg Lehman, an Ontario-based physiotherapist, advise runners with overuse injuries including PFPS to do as much running as they can within an acceptable pain range.
To get back to 100% of running you need to start with something less than 100%, he writes on his website. As a runner, you dont just want to be free of pain you want to be able to do the training necessary to achieve your goals without pain. Theres a big difference. Sure, rest may fix your pain, but only through running can you develop the tissue durability required to handle intensive training.
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