What Is Runner’s Knee
Runner’s knee also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome is an overuse injury that affects as many as 30% of female runners and 25% of male runners. That makes it the most common running-related injury.
In runner’s knee, the cartilage in your kneecap gets irritated. This causes pain while you’re running, squatting, bending or even sitting for awhile. I often see patients come in with runner’s knee after they start running at an incline or increase miles or speed.
Prevent Knee Pain From Running 6 Avoid Overtraining
Doing too much too soon is the recipe for knee painand all sorts of injury.
In fact, whether youre motivated to lose the pounds as soon as possible or have just signed up for a race, its important not to increase training intensity too abruptly.
Instead, ease yourself into running, regardless of how incentivized you feel.
Start with low to moderate intensity runs for shorter distances, then progress as you feel up to itnot the other way around.
One simple rule is to follow the ten percent principledo not increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent from one week to the next.
Also, be sure to take enough restwhen neededto allow for proper recovery.
Furthermore, listen to your body and train accordingly.
So, for instance, if youre experiencing knee pain, back off and assess what youre doing.
In fact, stop running whenever youre experiencing knee discomfort or pain.
To deal with the pain, opt for the PRICE method.
This consists of:
If pain persists, seek medical help ASAP.
Dilly-dallying with knee pain will only make your case way more severeand thats not something youd want to.
Cool Down Properly After Every Run
It makes sense to me to put this point last on the list but dont for one second think that this is the least important!
One of the factors that can cause knee pain when running, or knee pain after running is muscular tightness that affects the patellofemoral joint.
Tightness in your quads and hamstrings in particular can have an affect on how your knee cap is aligned and how it functions, potentially resulting in knee pain.
A proper cool down after running will go a long way towards easing tight quads and relaxing tight hamstrings. You might also find it beneficial to spend some time foam rolling your quads .
Heres running cool down routine that you might like to try:
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How Is Runners Knee Treated
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
How old you are
Your overall health and health history
How much pain you have
How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
How long the condition is expected to last
Your opinion or preference
The best course of treatment for runner’s knee is to stop running until you can run again without pain. Other treatment may include:
The Top Seven Ways To Treat Your Runners Knee
Thankfully, there are a lot of things you can do to get some relief from the pain while your knee heals. For many people, these strategies will also speed up recovery times, so they can get back to their regular workout schedule sooner. So lets find out what is the fastest way to heal runners knee?
#1 Rest the knee.
First and foremost, you must rest your knee so that it can heal. Can I run on runners knee? Avoid doing any type of activity that causes pain. That means no running, no lunges, no squats, and no standing for extended amounts of time. Sometimes, even sitting for a long time can make it hurt worse. Whatever the activity is, if it causes pain, dont do it until the injury is completely healed!
#2 Ice is your friend.
Ice is a great way to treat pretty much any sports-related injury. It can help to reduce the swelling and inflammation thats causing the pain. Reducing inflammation will also help the injury to heal faster. Try icing your new for about 20 minutes at a time, every three hours or so, until the pain is completely gone.
#3 Provide some support.
Providing some support for your knee can really help to provide some relief for the pain, and it may even help it heal faster. Try wrapping your knee with an elastic bandage or wearing a knee brace to give it some extra support.
#4 Elevate your knee.
#5 Wear arch supports.
#6 Give acupuncture a try.
#7 Surgery should be a last resort.
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Staying Fit And Healthy
Another cause of runners knee that we havent mentioned is obesity.
Obesity can contribute to the likelihood of injury as the extra weight on your body puts more pressure on your knees, making it more vulnerable to injury. Maintaining an optimal weight can, therefore, reduce your chances of developing runners knee. You can do this by practising moderate-intensity exercises and maintaining a well-balanced diet.
How Often Should Runners Strength Train
‘Runners should strength train at least three times per week to maintain or increase muscle mass and muscle strength to support their knees and prevent knee pain running,’ says P.volve physiotherapist Dr Amy Hoover. ‘The knees are primarily a hinge joint and the lower body should absorb shock through the more mobile joints the foot or ankle and the hip. This is why hip strength and mobility are so important for runners, as the hip muscles are the largest and most powerful of the lower body.’
However, it’s not all about lower body exercises like deadlifts, squats and lunges . Also working on keeping your core strong is one of the most important parts of running with good form.Hoover explains:
‘Core strength is also very important to support the spine and pelvis during running and high impact activity. Running is done mostly in one plane of motion, so it develops those muscles the most, namely the quads and hamstrings. However, our bodies need to work in three planes of motion, and we need to work the muscles in all three planes to maintain balance and symmetry in the body.’
Try these core exercises to build functional strength in your abdominals, lower back and glutes.
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Example Case Of Jumpers Knee From Running
A simple example of how to decrease threat levels would be a runner who has just started running hills and noticed he now has a painful knee.
His examination has revealed jumpers knee. He is really worried is going to miss the marathon and is scared stiff this pain is an early indication of arthritis.
In this case, I would deal with the loading issues as above but would make sure I spent plenty of time with this patient explaining his condition to him, reassuring him that his condition is not arthritis and he has nothing to fear or worry about in the future. If the patient believes me this will reassure him and start to switch-off his alarms and stress systems, decreasing the perceived threat in his brain and therefore the protective pain response associated with it.
Many skilled communicators will do this naturally without realising the positive effects they have on pain.
I hope you now have better a grasp on how to manage cases of jumpers knee from running and look forward to answering any questions in the comments below.
Is The Pain A Dull Ache Under The Kneecap
If so, its probably runners knee . Try running in the same direction, on the opposite side of the road move onto a softer surface or stride out for a while to free up the knee joint. You can also try changing your shoes. If the pain persists, book an appointment with a physiotherapist, because it will only get worse.
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Additional Treatment For Iliotibial Band Syndrome
It may be a good idea to have an analysis of your running stance, technique and footwear at this point. Having an expert evaluate and tweak your technique can help tremendously.
A strengthening program, physical therapy and exercises, and manual therapy such as trigger point work can help, too.
Myth: You Should Rest Until Knee Pain Goes Away
This is a common mistake people make. You can exercise the knee with care. However, if it’s a fresh injury and your knee has been sprained and is swollen, or if you’re having difficulty bending it then this is a different matter.
‘You should rest for around 48 to 72 hours and use either crutches, a walking stick or rest it completely by lying down,’ says Allardyce. ‘Apply ice and do gentle mobilisation exercises. But thereafter you can gently exercise it.’
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The Knee Pain Treatment Plan In A Nutshell
To sum up what you need to do in case of knee pain, here are the steps you need to take:
Can You Run With Patellar Tendonitis
You may be able to continue running with patellar tendonitis if you can keep pain levels between 0 and 4 out of 10, and as long as the pain settles within 24 hours of activity. If the pain gets worse, you must stop.
Loading is an important part of tendon rehab, as I will go on to explain shortly, so you should be able to continue running, albeit to a modified programme, as long as your symptoms continue to follow a predictable reactive pattern and settle quickly post-run.
The running technique cues listed above will help you reduce undue stress on the tendon when you run. However, running is, of course, a high-impact activity, and your knee will most likely require more recovery time between running workouts than it would if you were injury-free.
Listen to your body and give it what it needs!
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What Are The Treatment Methods Available
- Rest to avoid stress and pressure on the knee
- Ice to reduce pain and swelling
- Compression to restrict the swelling
- Elevation to prevent further swelling
In addition to the RICE method, your doctor may also recommend painkillers depending on your situation. Knee pain exercises may also be recommended to help strengthen your knee.
What To Do If You’ve Just Experienced Knee Pain Running
This is what senior chartered physiotherapist Ward says to do immediately after you’ve experienced knee pain whilst running and what to do if the pain doesn’t subside after a couple of days.
‘If knee pain occurs, take a day or two to rest with ice applied to the knee. Then, try to identify the cause did you fall, twist it, new trainers, new route, uneven ground, longer distance, or do too many runs close together?’
‘If the pain continues or is unidentifiable, see a physiotherapist for assessment. They can diagnose the injury and provide a rehab plan, as well as advising on footwear, pacing, and scheduling of runs and strength training sessions. Kinesiology tape can also be helpful to relieve pain whilst you complete your rehab, as well as allowing you to return to running earlier.’
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What Is Best Exercise For Bad Knees
Straight leg raises and squats or modified squats, are some good exercises for knees. Stretching: Tight knee and leg muscles add to pain, so it’s critical not to skip stretching after exercising. Stretches that help the knee and surrounding muscles include knee quadriceps stretch and standing hamstring stretch.
Is The Pain Just Below The Kneecap
If so, err on the side of caution and treat it like a patellar tendon strain. Jog home gently and apply the RICE treatment. As with any tendon strain, running through it is asking for trouble. If it still hurts the next day, have it looked at. Acute tears can require weeks in plaster, and in most cases recovery is likely to take months rather than weeks.
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Variables That Can Make Running Harder On Your Knees
However, there are a few variables that can make running hard on your knees. These include:
- Bad form.Good running form is complex and nuanced, but the basics are looking ahead and maintaining good posture and your arms at 90-degree angles while taking quick strides with mid-foot strikes. If you strike the ground with your heel, youll be prone to knee pain.
- Bad shoes. Especially if you run long distances, finding the proper shoe for your gait and foot is key. Factors like the cushion level, arch support, and width of the running shoe are important. If youre able, visit a local running store and have your foot fitted properly.
- Rigid surfaces. Many find running on softer surfaces like grass or a treadmill better than running on asphalt or cement. Running is high impact, and research has shown that softer surfaces like a woodchip trail may reduce impact on the tibiae and thus the knees .
Bad form, lack of strength, bad shoes, and running on surfaces that are too hard have the potential to make running harder on your knees.
Strength Exercises For Patellofemoral Syndrome
Running involves a series of complex movements that requires many groups of muscles to work together. In inadequate strength in certain muscles will result in a change in your running mechanics, particularly later into the run when youre fatigued. Below are a few exercises that may help you address this issue.
- Lay on your side with both knees bent
- Move both knees back until it is in line with the rest of your body
- Keep your ankles together and lift the top knee away from the bottom knee
- Stop once your pelvis begins to roll back
- You should experience tension in the buttock region
- Stand with your legs shoulder width apart
- Point your feet forward or slightly to the side
- Straighten your back and move your hips back, as if youre sitting on a chair
- Slowly lower your hips towards the floor and keep your knees pointed forward
- You should experience tension in the front of your thighs in your quadriceps muscles
- Stand with both feet on the floor
- Lift your arch by bringing the pad of the your first toe towards your heel
- This movement should be subtle and a tension should be experienced along the arch
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When Should I See A Doctor For My Knee Pain
If your knee pain doesnt improve after a week or more of rest and at-home treatment, its time to seek the help of a medical professional to get you back to doing what you loverunning!
Do not run through pain as that can make your knee injury worse, and lead to a longer recovery time!
Also, while recovering at home, focus on sleep and a balanced diet as these two factors are crucial for healing! If youd like help reaching your goals, be sure to check out my !
Knee Braces Keep Your Knee Aligned
For one, the brace will keep your knee aligned. This way your joint stays in line with your hip and the impact goes right where nature intended it to.
Your knee has a series of tendons and ligaments that keep it in line. The ligaments stretch on the sides of the knee and over the top of the knee, much like the parts of a brace that stretch over the side and the top of your knee.
If your knee is not aligned, then running and even walking will put undue stress on the ligaments that hold your knee together. They can stretch and even tear with enough impact.
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Following The Proper Form And Technique When Running
Besides using the right equipment, you should also be exercising with the right form and technique. When running, its best to try to keep a tight core and to avoid leaning too far forward or backwards. Trying to keep your knees bent will also help ease the shock to the area.
A good cool down after your run will also help your body adjust post-workout. Try walking or jogging after your run to recover. Without a proper warm-up and cool down, youre more likely to cause pain to certain areas.
How Is Patellofemoral Syndrome Diagnosed
When you see your physiotherapist, he or she will begin by taking a thorough history of your injury. Some questions will include the mechanism of which your pain had resulted from, the area of which you are experiencing pain, activities that currently reproduce your pain, and forms of treatment that you may have tried. This will help your physiotherapist to gain a deeper insight into your specific issue.
Following a history intake, a physical examination will follow. Due to the complex nature of Runners knee, your physiotherapist will perform a thorough assessment by looking at your knee, feet, hips, and lower back. This will allow your physiotherapist to determine the root cause of your knee pain and design a custom treatment plan.
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