What Is Jumper’s Knee
Jumper’s knee also called patellar tendonitis is an overuse injury that occurs when a tendon is overloaded, causing it to thicken. I see this most often in younger patients who complain about pain in the front of the knee.
It can be especially painful when you squat, jump or land. Jumper’s knee typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood.
Prevent Knee Pain From Running 5 Increase Your Cadence
Another technique tweak to consider when dealing with knee pain from running is to to avoid overstriding.
So what is it all about?
When you overstride, youre, in essence, reaching too much forward with your legs as you swing them forward in front of your center of gravity
When you do, youll be slamming your foot down, creating a braking action with each stride.
Then, all of these impact stresses of hitting the ground goes right up your feet to your knees.
This, in theory at least, limits your efficiency and increases your risk of injury.
As a result, most experts agree on the fact that overstriding is bad.
Do not let your feet get ahead of you.
Make sure to stay ahead of your feet.
Do not let your legs swing forward, not to the rear.
Here is the good news:
Reducing stride length can put a stop to overstriding, thus decrease injury risk, research shows.
And one of the best ways to do so is to simply increase your cadence.
In fact, research conducted at the University of Wisconsin found that an increased cadence reduces the impact load on the lower body.
Here is how to improve your cadence:
Determine your current cadence by counting how many times your feet hit the ground in one minute of running.
If its over 160, youre in the clear.
But, if your cadence is below 160 steps per minute, they should increase it by 5 to 10 percent from one week to the next.
For the full guide to improve running cadence, check my article here.
Symptoms That Arent Caused By Either Kind Of Runners Knee
Its possible to have more than one significant knee condition at once, of course including both ITBS and PFPS. However, its unusual. Here is a short list of symptoms that you should not see with either ITBS or PFPS:
- Locking, clunking, or instability is usually indicates another kind of bad news, usually trouble with the meniscal cartilage.
- Swelling is never a symptom of ITBS alone, and very rarely of PFPS. If you are swollen, its more likely something else is going on.
- Sudden onset of symptoms what I call an oh shit moment usually indicates a traumatic mechanism. Neither ITBS and PFPS start that way. They can ramp up fast as quickly as a few minutes but not suddenly with a surge of pain.
- Throbbing pain in the back of the knee is almost certainly another issue.
- Tingling or numbness are never signs of ITBS or PFPS alone. If youre knee is tingling or numb, and you havent been taking LSD, please see a doctor.
- Pain in the tendon under the kneecap connecting the kneecap to the top of the shin is probably just a tendinitis9. Pain in tendons usually is.
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How Do I Know If I Have Runners Knee
Runners knee is characterized by knee pain after running in a very specific location. Like lateral knee pain being correlated with IT Band Syndrome, theres a particular location for knee pain that makes it highly probable you have runners knee.
If your pain is directly on or along the outside edges of the kneecap, you most likely have PFPS. The pain is typically a dull ache but can occasionally be sharp it feels like its located deep underneath the patella.
Along with the location of the pain, PFPS sufferers typically have more pain when theyre
- walking up stairs
- after prolonged periods of sitting down
- while pushing on the kneecap
Its important to note that PFPS is different from patellar tendonitis, which is an entirely separate injury characterized by pain in the patellar tendon. This is the thick tendon that connects your patella to your shin. This is a more rare injury, particularly among runners.
How To Prevent It
Although injury may sometimes be unavoidable, there are steps you can take to reduce your chance of being afflicted, thus preventing ankle pain after running. These ways include:
- Avoiding sports or exercise when you are tired or experiencing pain
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet
- Maintaining a weight that is considered healthy
- Avoiding any falling
- Ensuring to carry out proper warm-ups before exercising
- Running only on flat surfaces
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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.
When Should I Get My Teens Knee Pain Evaluated By A Healthcare Provider
Make an appointment to see your healthcare provider if:
- Your teens pain has lasted longer than two weeks or anytime theres an increase in pain level.
- Your teens knee is red, swollen or warm to the touch.
- Your teen cant put weight on their leg they limp.
- Your teens knee locks and cant move.
- Your teens kneecap feels like it slides out of place or the knee looks twisted.
- Your teen has knee pain during or after activity.
- Theres painful popping or clicking sound in your teens knee.
- Your teens knee doesnt have strength or full range of motion.
- Your teens pain wakes them up at night.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/30/2021.
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Some Basics About Both Injuries To Keep In Mind
Beware of chronicity! Although humans are born to run,6 and most cases are easy to recover from,7 these injuries do have a nasty way of dragging on and on in some unlucky runners please be aware of that risk.8 These conditions definitely do not have any guaranteed cures.
There are also many myths about both conditions that need busting, like the one about IT band stretching, the dubious importance of kneecap tracking, or the exaggerated dangers of running on pavement .
How To Deal With Ankle Pain After Running
Although ankle pain is a common occurrence after running, it can, on occasions, be unbearable. There are numerous steps you can take to help reduce the pain, some of which are listed below:
1. Dont Hesitate to Seek Medical Help
You should seek medical help if the following applies:
- You can put no weight on your ankle at all, and there is a visible difference in its appearance .
- The pain you experience is intense, even when the ankle is being rested.
- A popping sound can be heard when you try to move your ankle.
- If the ankle becomes infected .
Your doctor will likely perform an x-ray on the ankle to determine the exact cause of the pain and the best course of treatment, which may include anti-inflammatory medication, protective and supportive gear, or possibly surgery.
- Protection: Use supported equipment, such as a brace or splint.
- Rest: Attempt to avoid placing weight on the ankle if it is hurting, perhaps try using crutches when walking.
- Ice: Placing ice on the area that is in pain will help to reduce swelling as well as numb the pain. Leave it on the ankle for around twenty minutes, and be sure to never put ice directly onto the skin.
- Compression: Wrap your ankle for extra support with the aid of an elastic bandage, but ensure not to wrap it too tightly.
- Elevation: If you are able, raise your ankle above your heart you can use pillows to assist you.
3. Stretching and Strengthening
- Perform exercises to increase your mobility
- Strengthen your ankle
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Why Your Knees Hurt When Running
1. IT Band Friction Syndrome
IT-band issues are one of the most common nuisances that plague runners. ITBFS occurs when the tendon from your hip to your outer knee gets tight and therefore inflamed, irritating the outer knee bone. If your knees hurt while running and you feel tightness on the outside of your knee, ITBFS may be why.
Fix it: Bummer alert: The only way to ease severe ITBFS pain is to completely rest the tendon , says Leon Popovitz, M.D., founder of the New York Bone and Joint Specialists in New York. Physical therapy may also be needed to ease the inflammation. For mild cases, a foam roller to stretch post-run will quickly become your best friend.
If you’ve recently upped your mileage or have increased your intensity in a short amount of time, the overuse of your knee can cause the tendons surrounding it to become strained and inflamed. This overuse is called tendonitis and can make your morning jogs pretty miserable.
Fix it: Tendonitis issues can typically be resolved with rest, ice, compression, and easing back into your usual routine. Scott Weiss, D.P.T., licensed physical therapist, board-certified athletic trainer, and exercise physiologist also recommends eccentric exercises to gently stretch the tendons and prevent knee pain when running.
3. Runner’s Knee
Fix it: Hamstring stretches and leg lifts can help runner’s knee, according to Dr. Popovitz. Do these post-run stretches to help your legs get stronger and prevent mid-run aches.
Could I Just Have Arthritis
Sure, especially if youre an older runner over the age of 55. Typical arthritis is due to wear and tear and you may be at a higher risk of developing arthritis if youve experienced a traumatic injury to the knee in the past.
Visit your doctor and get an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis. But dont worry, just because you have some arthritis doesnt necessarily mean youre experiencing any pain. Degeneration of cartilage in the knee doesnt always cause pain while running.
Defer to your doctors prescribed treatment of arthritis, as it will be different from PFPS.
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Q After Running Sessions I Often Have Sore Knees Are There Exercises I Can Do To Improve Knee Strength
A. This is a frequent complaint from runners and triathletes. The most common problem is called runner’s knee. This is a pain just below and to the outside of the knee. It’s caused by a tight iliotibial band , a band of connective tissue that runs down the outside of your thigh to the top of the tibia bone on the lower leg.
Pain comes on after a certain distance, on downhill sections or if you’re running on cambered roads. It tends to afflict triathletes who pronate and when you increase distance.
To find out if you pronate, stand barefoot and see if you have an arch on the inside of your foot. If you have a very low arch the chances are that you will pronate. You can limit this inward rolling by using orthotics and by doing calf stretches and calf raises.
Generally speaking, the best way to strengthen your knees is by improving the strength and flexibility of your quad muscles , in particular the vastus medialis oblique muscle, the small teardrop-shaped muscle just above the knee on the inside of the thigh.
Strengthening this muscle will take the stress off the knee and transfer it to the muscle. The best exercise for building this muscle is leg extensions. Sitting down, with your feet hanging towards the floor, extend your legs until they are straight. This can be done with no weight at all or with a light weight resting on top of your feet.
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So How Do I Make Knee Pain Go Away
Get VERY friendly with stretching and strengthening because theyre both going to become big parts of your life if you want to cut runners knee off at thewell, knees.
Recovering from runners knee is about “retraining the way that you move” and coming up with modifications that will allow you to go easy on your knees, says Meghan Cass, DPT, a physical therapist in Columbus, Ohio. And the best way to do that is with physical therapy.
Once a therapist has pinpointed the aggravating factorlike stiff ankles or the intensity of your exercise regimenshe can create a rehabilitative routine, says Cass. This might include modifying where you run or how deeply you lunge and squat.
You’ll also do moves that will strengthen your core and your inner thighs, or stretch your calves, in an effort to better position your knee for physical activity. A PT might also encourage you to mix different types of workouts into your regular routine, says Carter, such as yoga or swimming to replace a running or squatting session.
These methods wont act like vaccines though, Carter warns. Youll need continuous doses of knee-strengthening exercises to keep the pain from coming back.
And extra TLC, like icing the knee for 20 minutes, might also help, says Cass.
Taping For Runners Knee
The use of tape is a common treatment option for Runners knee. Two common types of tape that are used are KT tape and Leukotape. The primary goal of using tape is to pull the skin around your knee in a particular direction to encourage a positive change in your running mechanics. Before you purchase tape for your knee, it is highly recommended that you consult a physiotherapist to learn proper taping technique as there is a high degree of error when it is self-taught.
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What’s The Outlook For Teenagers With Pain In Their Knees
Most knee pain in teenagers can be managed with simple treatments. However, many soft-tissue tears and bone breaks require surgery. Most teenagers recover without long-term problems if they follow the recover plan provided by their healthcare providers. Because there are many causes of knee pain, be sure to ask your healthcare provider for specific information on long-term prognosis for your teen’s knee condition.
Fixing Knee Pain At Home
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Why Do My Knees Hurt After Running
Why do you run? Because it feels good. Because it relieves stress. Because it enables you to eat cake. I get that, because running is also important to me. Im a 32-time marathoner who knows how frustrating it is to be injured. Its the reason I became a sports doctor. Ripping my anterior cruciate ligament playing football when I was in medical school was devastating, but it was the single most important event to influence my work. Its what drives me to help my patients. Almost every day I treat runners with achy knees. Many are freaked out: can I still run? Will I have to switch to swimming? Thankfully, most knee problems wont keep you off the road for long. Heres what you need to know about common knee injuries.
You Ignore Pain Flare
If youre suffering from arthritis or a minor knee injury, you should take care to treat pain flare-ups. Treating the pain when it happens can help manage it. Follow the RICE procedure rest, ice, compression, elevation to calm your knee pain.
If your knee hurts, stop what youre doing and rest. Apply ice to reduce inflammation, consider wearing a compression bandage, and elevate your knee when resting.
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