How Do You Get Rid Of Runners Knee Pain
Aside from what its name suggests, runners knee isnt an injury isolated to runners. In fact, its actually not a specific injury at all. Confusing – we know.
To set things straight, here, were going over what runners knee actually is, what its symptoms are, and how to get rid of it. Lets get into it!
Rest Ice Compression & Elevation
You can eliminate much of the inflammation and pain associated with runners knee by resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the affected joint, a treatment known as RICE.
First, allow your knee to rest by keeping off your feet. Next, apply an ice pack to your knee for up to 30 minutes at a time two or more times a day. Then, compress the joint to counteract the swelling. Finally, elevate your knee by propping it up on a pillow to further reduce swelling.
RICE is an easy protocol to follow when you have a knee pain relief cold wrap on hand. This product uses patent-pending technology to treat knee pain after running with compression and cold therapy while protecting you from the harsh effects of ice. Wearing a knee wrap is comfortable, soothing, safe, and effective. Its designed for healing, not freezing!
Warm Up And Cool Down Properly
Running with tight muscles is one cause of runners knee.
To make sure your body is properly warmed up, do a 5-minute series of dynamic stretches or walking.
This gets the blood flowing and warms up the muscles so theyre ready for the movements and impact running requires.
Then, after your run, stretch it out!
Static stretching keeps the muscles from tightening up too.
Attacking tight muscles before and after running helps prevent runners knee.
Bonus tip: Add some foam rolling in too and youll improve your chances of avoiding tight muscles even more!
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Runners Knee Pain Symptoms
Unfortunately, pain is the main symptom of runners knee. Its often a dull pain and it usually comes on when your knee is in use. With runners knee, in general, you may notice:
- Pain in the front of , around, or behind your kneecap
- Pain when you bend your knee to walk, squat, sit down, kneel, run, or stand up
- Worsening pain when you walk downstairs or downhill
Other symptoms, although uncommon, include swelling around your knee, a popping sound coming from your knee, or the feeling that your knee is grinding.
If youre experiencing any of these symptoms get in contact with your local Physiotherapist. Your physio will complete a thorough examination and theyll work with you to build a personalised runners knee treatment plan.
Beware Of Bracing Overuse
Bracing for pain restricts your bodys natural flow and function. Braces provide support in some cases, and are fine to use after knee surgery. But relying on knee braces can cause further weakness in those muscles and can cause other knee problems.
Avid runners or athletes should use braces only to help get back to their normal activity after surgery, and then, if possible, wean off them so the body can maintain normal muscle strength and motor control on its own.
For an in-office or telehealth video appointment with a Virtua sports medicine specialist, call 888-847-8823.
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Half Kneeling Quadriceps Stretch
Place a pad on the ground. Kneel on the pad with one knee and place the other foot flat on the ground with your knee bent in front of you. Wrap a band or strap around the foot that is behind you. Grab onto the strap with one hand behind your shoulder. Pull your foot up creating a stretch in your quad. Once you feel that stretch, lean forward for a few seconds and repeat.
In Summary Knee Pain Doesnt Mean The End Of Your Running Career
I hope this post highlights that you can do things to prevent and treat runners knee!
Dont give up.
And above all else when in doubt, see a professional.
Visiting my physical therapist was the BEST thing Ive ever done for running. Hes helped me through various injuries and pains.
There is help, and there is hope dont let knee pain ruin your running fun!
Want some help preventing running injuries?
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Exercises To Help You Treat And Prevent Runners Knee Pain
Pain in the knee cap is all too common for runners. Here are five stretches you can do to prevent and treat ârunnerâs kneeâ.
Many athletes struggle with various chronic injuries named after their sport and a specific body joint. For runners, itâs ârunnerâs kneeââ a painful symptom of overuse or injury thatâs felt around the kneecap.
If youâre currently struggling with this issue now or just want to reduce the chance of runnersâ knee recurring or developing for the first time â and hindering your training and racing as a result â youâre in luck. I caught up with physiotherapist Dereck Steffe, DPT, who sees this issue in all too many of the athletes who come to him for treatment at Return to Sport Physio in Evergreen, Colorado. Here are his five go-to exercises that can help you banish runnersâ knee pain for good.
What Is Runners Knee
You may hear runners knee referred to as patellofemoral knee pain or patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Its a type of knee pain experienced by runners, cyclists and any other athletic endeavor that puts long and frequent impact on the knees.
Runners knee occurs when the patella, aka the kneecap, is out of alignment and rubbing against other bones or cartilage to cause pain.
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Wear The Right Running Sneakers
One of the most important running tips ever: get fitted for runner sneakers!
Go straight to your local running store and ask to be fitted. They know their stuff.
Despite seeming easy, getting fitted for the right pair of running sneakers requires knowledge and experience.
Wearing cheap sneakers, or any old pair, that you grabbed without being fitted, wont work.
Especially if youre trying to prevent runners knee. Poorly-fitting running sneakers cause misalignment .
So do yourself a favor and get a great pair of sneakers .
Whats Going On In The Knee
Patellofemoral knee pain is the most common type of knee pain I see in my sports medicine practice. The patella is located inside the patellar tendon and connects to the quadriceps muscle group, the most powerful group in the body.
Pain can come from several causes. One is an injury to the cartilage under the patella. Poor running or biking mechanics resulting from weak or tight muscles can contribute. Heres how: Ideally, your pelvis remains in a steady, level state as you run. But if your muscles are underconditioned, your pelvis will wobble as you run. This stresses the knees and can cause runners knee
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Why Choose Cooper To Diagnose And Treat Runners Knee
Cooper University Health Care has a team of seven fellowship-trained and board-certified sports medicine specialists with extensive experience in diagnosing and treating runners knee. You can count on us for:
- Fast access: Our policy is to see patients within 24 to 48 hours of a sports injury, whenever possible
- Comprehensive diagnostic resources: Your doctor will take a thorough health history, perform a physical exam, and order state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging, when necessary
- Personalized treatment: Treatment is personalized based on your age, general health and severity of symptoms, and may include:
- Rest/restricting activity until the pain subsides
- Cold packs to reduce pain and swelling
- Elevating the leg
Let Us Help You Get Back On Your Feet
Our sports medicine team at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine is fully equipped to provide expert treatment and care to patients afflicted with orthopaedic injuries. If youre suffering from runners knee, wed be glad to help you regain mobility and get back to your daily routine. To find out more about our services and treatment options, request an appointment online or give us a
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Runners Knee Modifiable Risk Factors: Increased Hip Adduction And Femoral Internal Rotation
The human body is an entire kinetic chain, where joints above and below one another may influence each other in several ways. One concept that has been researched heavily not only with runners knee, but also with other knee-related injuries including ACL tears, meniscal injuries and patellofemoral pain is the concept of hip adduction and femoral internal rotation . This can be conceptualized by looking at the image below from a prospective cohort designed research study by Synder 2013 . What happens is as someone takes a step when running for example or playing a sport, if their hip abductor muscles , hip extensors , and hip external rotators are inhibited and/or weak, they will not be able to counteract this movement impairment that is common in runners and athletes .
Moreover, Pressword et. al discussed in an article how weakness or inhibition of the gluteus medius specifically can lead to increased knee valgus force vectors, which ultimately may increase lateral movement of the patella leading to PFPS . As a result of this repetitive faulty movement, it may lead to an increased amount of stress at the knee or other structures of the lower extremities.
Is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome Caused By Degenerated Cartilage
Unlikely! The cartilage underneath the patella and on the femur doesnt have any nerves so its not what is causing you pain. Its relatively inert.
What actually hurts is probably the synovial lining, a fancy word for the soft tissue and fluid that surrounds your knee joint. It acts as lubrication between the moving parts of your knee. Its capable of irritation which is why its the specific part of your anatomy that hurts.
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Treat Runners Knee With Strengthening Exercises
After the initial resting period, its time to strengthen your leg muscles so you can resume your favorite activities without risking a repeat case of runners knee. Since knee pain after running is often the result of tight muscles around the knees and hips, strengthening the appropriate muscle groups could be just what you need to improve your health.
Here are the exercises we suggest to help you recover from and prevent runners knee. It is best to do these exercises for both knees, switching off as needed.
The sooner you treat runners knee, the faster your pain will subside so you can resume your favorite activities. Get your knee wrap today for the pain relief you seek!
How Can You Improve The Alignment Of Your Legs In Daily Life
It is generally a good idea to pay attention to the alignment of your legs particularly during activities that put a lot of strain on the kneecaps. These mainly include going up and down stairs, running, cycling, squatting, and getting out of bed or a chair.
The alignment is considered to be good if
- your hips, kneecap and middle toe form a straight line,
- your hips stay straight when going up and down stairs and
- your body weight is spread equally across both legs.
The following illustrations show examples of correct and incorrect alignment of the leg during various activities.
Alignment of the leg while going down stairs
Alignment of the leg while cycling
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What Is Runners Knee And How Is It Treated
Patellofemoral pain syndrome, more commonly known as runners knee, earned its nickname because the condition is quite common among people who run regularly or competitively. The stress your body undergoes while running sometimes causes irritation where your kneecap, medically known as the patella, rests against your thighbone. Some people experience sudden, sharp pain with runners knee while others struggle with chronic pain that presents as more of a dull ache. It can occur only when youre running, after a run, or persistently.
Check Your Running Form
Bad running form will bite you in the butt. Well, the knee, in this case.
Read up on proper running form tips to see how you fare.
Alternately, get evaluated by a professional so you know exactly what to fix based on an in-person analysis.
How can bad running form cause runners knee?
Again, it goes back to alignment.
If your form is off, your muscles arent being used properly. Certain muscles are probably being used too much, or improperly, which can cause force on the kneecap, or mess with its movement. Which causes knee pain.
So focus on maintaining proper running form and youll improve your chances of preventing runners knee too.
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Causes Of Runners Knee
Runners knee , accounts for around 25% of running knee injuries and is caused by an abnormal movement of your knee cap which then causes friction on the knee joint itself.
However runners knee is not just something that runners get as anyone who does a lot of knee bending such as cyclists, people who kneel a lot, gardeners, walkers and so on can suffer from it.
What causes abnormal patella movement?
Below are some of the more common causes of which you may suffer from more than one:
- Muscle weakness or tightness around the knee.
- Weakness in your front thigh muscles . Running usually strengthens your back thigh muscles more than the front. This leads to an imbalance if you don’t do strength training to correct it.
- Malalignement of any bone from your hip down to your feet, perhaps caused by an injury, weak muscles or just favoring one side of the body more than the other.
- Weak hip muscles, often in women. This contributes to poor running form and hence altered knee movements.
- Imbalance or instability in the way that your feet strike the ground. Perhaps you have flat arches or you over or under pronate. How to choose the correct running shoes.
- Running on a sloped surface or a curved track. All that turning and tilting creates more pressure on one side of the body.
- Trauma to the knee from a fall of a blow.
Runner’s Knee Brace For Recovery
As noted above, a knee brace is important for controlling pain and swelling as your joint recovers from runner’s knee. It will support you as you engage in strength workouts and runners knee stretches and ease back into exercise. Choosing the correct brace is essential for improving the feel and function of your leg without causing further damage. These braces can help get your knee back to peak condition more quickly.
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How To Get Rid Of Runners Knee Pain
So hopefully youve made some time to see your Physiotherapist but here are a few things you can do to help manage your runners knee pain.
- Rest your knee as much as possible.
- Ice your knee for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days or until the pain subsides.
- Wrap your knee using an elastic bandage or sleeve for added support.
- While sitting or lying down, elevate your knee.
- Take an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling.
- If the problem is in your feet, try arch supports in your shoes.
At your physiotherapy appointment, youll perform runners knee exercises to help reduce pain and treat the issue at its source. Although it may seem counterintuitive, instead of runners knee stretches, youll often be performing strengthening exercises to reduce the pain in your knee.
We mentioned briefly that runners knee could be caused by weak thigh muscles , poor alignment, and from muscle imbalances in the body. So, these are going to be the main focal points of your physiotherapy sessions to treat your runners knee.
Is Arthroscopic Surgery My Best Option For Runners Knee
The majority of medical professionals prefer Arthroscopic surgery because it is less invasive. Its also associated with a lot less pain, swelling, infection, and bleeding. This type of surgery also has a faster recovery time than open surgery.
However, in some cases, the kneecap cannot be realigned via arthroscopic surgery. Dr. Berry will come up with a game plan and discuss which type of surgery is best for your knee injury.
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What Is A Runners Knee
Irritation of the iliotibial band causes your runners knee.
Therefore the official name of this injury is the iliotibial band friction syndrome.
MedicineNet explains it perfectly:
The iliotibial band runs along the lateral or outside aspect of the thigh and is an important structure that stabilizes the outside of the knee as it flexes and extends.
Inflammation of the iliotibial band can occur as it crosses back and forth across the bony prominence of the femoral epicondyle as the knee flexes and extends.
Your iliotibial band starts at the outer side of your hip and ends on the outer side of your lower leg.
Your thigh bone bulges on the lateral side right above your knee.
When you bend and extend your knee, your iliotibial band has to cross this bulge, just like a speed bump.
Usually, this crossing is no problem because there is not much friction. However, when you iliotibial band gets to tight, friction might increase. It causes irritation and inflammation of the iliotibial band.
That is what we call a runners knee and causes pain.
Symptoms Of Patellofemoral Syndrome
Runners Knee usually comes on gradually it is not triggered by a specific incident. People describe it as an ill-defined ache around the kneecap, particularly underneath and at the sides of the patella.
This helpful video from ClearDoc explains what is going on with the patella in patellofemoral syndrome.
There may also be grinding/grating sounds associated with leg movement in patellofemoral syndrome this is known as crepitus and is caused by friction on the kneecap. Sometimes, there can also be some mild knee swelling.
Runners knee pain tends to come and go rather than being constant but is usually worse with:
- Prolonged Activity: e.g. running long distances, sports, skiing especially when going downhill
- Stairs: especially coming downstairs
- After Sitting for Long Periods: e.g. at the cinema, office workers, driving long distance. The knee tends to be sore when you first get up and then eases with movement
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