What Should I Do About Runner’s Knee
To help knee pain at home, Andy recommends applying ice to the knee and stretching.
Hold ice on the painful area for around 20 minutes a few times a day. Never put ice directly on your skin.
To stretch the area, Andy recommends lying on your side with your bad leg on top.
Bend your top leg so your foot goes back towards your bottom, then hold it there with your hand and keep both knees touching.
Hold the stretch for at least 45 seconds, breathing deeply and feeling the stretch in the thigh. Repeat this around 6 times a day.
If the pain’s severe or the knee’s swollen, see a GP straight away.
If your knee pain is not severe, stop running and get it checked by a GP or physiotherapist if the pain does not go away after a week.
They can also recommend stretches or exercises to help you recover.
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?
Custom Orthotics For Patellofemoral Syndrome
We are all built differently and the arch in your foot may not be built for running. Your foot is the first structure that strikes the ground and will begin to transfer the force of impact up the leg. If the force is transferred incorrectly due to flat feet or high arches, it will change the mechanics of your knee. Custom orthotics aim to bring the ground to your foot to ensure that these forces are transferred correctly. An assessment of your arches is a standard component of your initial visit and your physiotherapist may recommend custom orthotics as part of your treatment plan.
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How Long Does Recovery Take
To recover from runners knee pain, you should start by resting. You may need to cut back on running or other sports, or stop entirely until you feel better. Avoid other activities that increase your pain, like going up and down stairs, as much as possible.
How long it takes to recover from runners knee will vary for everyone. With rest and ice, your pain may go away in two to three weeks. Or, you may need to see a physical therapist who can recommend strengthening and stretching exercises to help you get back to running.
See a doctor if your knee pain doesnt go away after three weeks. You may need an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI to determine the cause of your pain.
Bracing For Runners Knee
Correcting the muscle imbalances in and around your knee will take some time. In addition, your bones may have a particular shape that will leave you predisposed to more episodes of patellofemoral syndrome. A knee brace can help ensure proper knee mechanics when running. A patellofemoral brace will often involve a buttress, or pad, that sits along the outside of your knee cap, which will help keep your kneecap centered in the groove. There are many braces available with varying degrees of quality and sizes. It is best to consult your physiotherapist before purchasing one.
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Knee Pain And Other Running Injuries
Running injuries can affect anyone, from experienced runners who push themselves hard, to beginners whose muscles are not used to running.
Below are 5 of the most common running injuries. Find out how to spot the symptoms, what causes the injuries, and what to do if you get one, including when to get medical help.
You’ll also find tips on how to avoid becoming injured in the first place, such as choosing the right shoes and warming up properly.
Being injured can dent your motivation, so we have also included tips on how to get yourself up and running again once you have recovered.
Whatever your injury, it’s important to listen to your body. Do not run if you’re in pain, and only start running again when you have recovered sufficiently.
What Makes Up Runners Knee
Lets start with the structures involved in runners knee. The structures involved are the quads, patellar tendon, kneecap and knee.
The quads are the muscles of the thigh.
The patellar tendon is the large and strong tendon that connects the quad muscles to the kneecap and then to the lower leg.
The kneecap is a bone in front of the knee that works to keep the patellar tendon from going into the knee joint.
The structures involved in runners knee, plays a huge role in allowing us to extend or straighten our knee but more importantly it helps us reach forward when we run in order to get a good stride length.
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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
Runners Knee Physical Therapy:
Your physical therapist may suggest:
Rehabilitation exercises: Specific exercises can strengthen muscles around your knee and control limb alignment. Correcting inward movement of the knee during squatting is a primary goal.Supportive braces: Knee braces and arch supports might be helpful.Taping: Your physical therapist may show you how to tape your knee to reduce pain and help your movement.Ice: Icing your knee after repetitive use may be helpful.Low-impact activities: During recovery, you may want to restrict yourself to knee-friendly activities such as bicycling, swimming and running.
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How Do Orthopedic Specialists Diagnose Runner’s Knee
Orthopedic doctors begin by asking patients to describe their symptoms and how they happened. The doctor will then perform a physical examination of the knee. This may include tests like bending and straightening the knee, checking for pain with certain movements, and feeling for deformities or swelling in the knee.
In some cases, doctors may also order images of your knee joint. X-rays can help rule out other conditions like arthritis or fractures, while MRIs and CT scans can reveal issues like cartilage tears or loose bodies floating in the joint.
The doctors at Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida combine orthopedics and sports medicine to diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate knee pain. Our compassionate, highly skilled staff goes above and beyond to treat your pain and prevent future injury.
If you are experiencing pain consistent with a runner’s knee injury, contact us by calling 334-7000 or online by filling out this short contact form. We can help reduce your symptoms and help you get back to the activities that you love doing.
Muscle Weakness Or Imbalances
We often refer to the leg as a kinetic chain, which means that all your lower extremity joints work together to create meaningful movements. Your knee is one of those unfortunate joints that sits between your ankles and hips, which means that it will be affected if there is a dysfunction above or below. A common cause of Runners knee is muscle weakness or imbalances in the ankles or hips.
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Common Causes Of Runners Knee
- Sudden Increase in activity *
- Hip or quad weakness*
Although these are some common symptoms to look out for, it is important to keep in mind that not everyone will present these symptoms in the same manner. If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physiotherapist or another qualified health care professional to provide appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and advice.
Stretch And Strengthen The Leg
As noted above, a lack of strength in the quadriceps muscles can lead to knee pain. Increasing strength exercises in your training regimen can help to reduce your recovery time and prevent future injury. Additionally, incorporating runners knee stretches can help to prepare your joints for activity and to heal after. Take the lead of a physical therapist on the exact exercises and protocol for how to help runners knee.
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Diagnosing Your Knee Injury
That are several tests that can diagnose knee injuries. The information you give the doctor will help determine the next steps as the location of pain is a key indicator for the underlying cause. The doctor will examine you for tenderness, swelling, range of motion, and stability. Further investigations may be required such as:
- X-ray to check for fractures and arthritis
- CT scan- to assess for fractures and alignment
- MRI scan to detect soft tissue damage such as meniscal tears, ligament injuries, loose bodies
- Knee aspiration draining of fluid to test and diagnose inflammatory conditions
Common surgical treatment options
If your knee does not respond to conventional treatment, there are many surgical options available for certain types of fractures and injuries that your doctor may recommend:
A minimally invasive procedure using a camera to view and explore the inside of the knee joint. Using fine instruments, resection, repair and reconstruction of the internal structures of the knee can be performed when warranted.
The torn anterior cruciate ligament is removed and replaced with a tendon graft, often harvested from from another part of your knee such as your hamstrings or patella tendon.
What Can You Do About Runners Knee
Let me go through a number of things you can to do overcome Runners knee and get back to running.
Foam Rolling the Quads
When you get runners knee, everything in the leg tightens up especially in the quads. This tightness often leads to an uneven pulling of the quad muscles and leads to one out pulling the other which moves the knee cap out of alignment.
One thing that is important to do is loosen up the quads. You can do this by foam rolling the quads. Lying face down and placing a full foam roller at your thigh. You then prop yourself up and roll your quad up and down the foam roller from your hip to just above your knee cap.
A key thing to remember is to rotate the hip in and out so you also roll the outer and inner thigh.
One last thing, dont go crazy with the foam rolling. It should be uncomfortable but you should not be in screaming pain. If it is too uncomfortable, you can decrease how much of your body weight you are putting on the foam roller.
Stretching Out the Quads
This links up with the point before. With the foam rolling we have helped loosen up the quads but now we need to lengthen the quads.
You can do a regular quad stretch that you see many runners do where they stand on one leg, the heel of the other leg is brought to the seat by the same side hand.
One other stretch you can try is having the opposite arm, pull the heel of the opposite leg to the seat. The puts more of a stretch on the other quad muscle which is often tight in runners.
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How To Diagnose Runner’s Knee
Since runner’s knee can be caused by several issues requiring various levels of medical intervention, it is best to seek an evaluation with a doctor if you exhibit symptoms. This is especially true if you know that the knee was directly injured or you suspect an alignment issue with your leg. However, it is advisable to see the doctor to confirm the suspected cause and begin appropriate treatment.An orthopedist or sports medicine physician would be the best doctor to assess your joints and guide you on how to help runners knee. An x-ray is often prescribed to rule out more serious injuries, and further imaging may be recommended if you recall falling or sustaining a blow to the joint as the start of your pain. Once the doctor has ruled out a more serious injury, they will provide a course of treatment.
Warm Up And Cool Down
It’s essential to warm up properly before you start running. Five to 10 minutes of brisk walking or gentle jogging before you start will warm your muscles up and help prevent injury.
To cool down, carry on running at an easier pace or walk for 5 to 10 minutes. This will help your body recover after your run.
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Treatment Of Runners Knee
Its important to rest your knee as soon as you suspect that you have runners knee. Stop running for a time and avoid other activities that place stress on your knee. Some other things you can do include:
- Wear a supportive brace
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers as the instructions direct
- Modify your exercise routine if you do not want to temporarily stop it so you dont stress your knees
- Get into the habit of placing an ice compress on your knee after exercise
- Tape a bandage over your kneecap before you start running
If these remedies dont decrease your pain after a few days, schedule an appointment at the Bruce Carter United Orthopaedic and Spine Center for an immediate evaluation. One of our orthopedists will examine your knee for signs of swelling and tenderness. He or she will also ask you to extend or flex your leg to see if this aggravates pain in your kneecap. Your provider may order an MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or another diagnostic test to confirm the diagnosis and rule out anything more serious.
The most common options for treating runners knee include receiving regular cortisone injections, taking prescription medication, and/or going through physical therapy. Surgery to remove pieces of your damaged kneecap is a last resort when everything else has failed. In severe cases, your surgeon may need to realign your kneecap.
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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How Do You Prevent Runners Knee
Now that you know what caused it, lets see if there are some methods that can help you reduce the chance of developing a runners knee injury.
- Learning proper running, jumping, kicking, and lifting technique definitely helps.
- Losing excess pounds will put less pressure on your knee.
- Warming up and stretching is a known recipe for fixing these problems.
- Strengthening your quadriceps and hip abductors muscles will make it easier for you to maintain balance naturally.
- Wearing quality shoes is also a good way to go.
While this wont guarantee that youll stay safe, its definitely increasing the resilience of your knees.
What Is Runners Knee
Runners Knee, also known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, is defined by Hopkins Medicine as pain in and around the knee joint. The pain occurs during knee-bending activities or from sitting for long periods of time with your knees bent. While runners are hit the hardest, anyone doing high volumes of repetitive knee bending activities, such as squatting or lunging, can also be susceptible.
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Knowing When To Seek Treatment
Rest, ice, compression and elevation are the first steps to treating a knee injury. Gentle exercises to strengthen the knee, appropriate footwear and support tape can all contribute to recovery. If you are still in some pain after a week you should seek medical advice, particularly if your knee is swollen. You may be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for further assessment, investigation and treatment.
What Is The Treatment For Runners Knee
When suspecting a runners knee, the first thing you want to do is go to an orthopedic sports medicine specialist and get correctly diagnosed. From here, youll get the best advice on both invasive and non-invasive methods you can try and use to quickly and efficiently heal your knee.
While some of these methods will be as simple as resting, icing, or even applying a brace for the runners knee. In some of the most extreme cases, you might even have to talk to a specialist – a knee surgeon who would consider more invasive methods such as knee joint injection or even arthroscopy.
Other than this, you might get some medication in order to reduce the pain and swelling. Just make sure not to take these without consulting your doctor first.
Another point of interest, for anyone researching this topic, is the runners knee recovery time. If done properly, you can be back on track pain free in 6-12 weeks. Remember, running with a runners knee is not only uncomfortable but also quite likely to make matters worse.
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Can I Run A Marathon With Runners Knee
Because runners knee is a condition often brought on by an increase in training volume, it is common to see it in people training for a marathon. In many of these cases, there isnt time before the marathon to resolve the issue.
If pain is severe it is not a good idea to run 26.2miles on it, and significant inflammation or damage can occur.
If it is close to the race date, pain is mild, and only after long distances, and if most of the training has been completed without issues, it might be ok to run. It is best to avoid running and aggravation to give as much rest, and time for inflammation to reduce before the event. You might start the marathon feeling undertrained, but at least you are not in pain from the first step.