Nothing is more frustrated to a seasoned runner than a physical setback or nagging injury. A sport that demands motivation, it can be maddening to be hampered by your body when your mind and spirit are ready to go. As with injury or lingering physical problem, treating Runner’s Knee early on has many benefits. While some problems can be sorted out with a small technique change or new pair of shoes, some are signs of larger, more serious complications.
About Runner’s Knee
A common term used for patellorfemoral pain syndrome, Runner’s Knee is a common issue for runners that can either be caused over a long period (as with overuse injuries) or suddenly as a result of a physical trauma. Tissue misalignment, sudden increase in physical activity, and muscle imbalances are all contributing causes to Runner’s Knee.
The most documented symptoms are knee pain surrounding the kneecap or emanating from directly behind it, dull and aching with occasional sharp, striking pain. Pain can occur during exercise or while at rest, with many sufferers experiencing the effects of Runner’s Knee with bent or flexed knees.
Prevention and Treatment
There are several ways to offset the effects of Runner’s Knee, beginning with the obvious: proper stretching and warm-up periods before exercise will help prevent any number of injuries. Orthotic inserts and shoes with adequate arch support will help during exercise, but so will running on softer surfaces and avoiding surfaces like concrete.
Any increase in exercise level should be done gradually to allow your body to acclimate to increased strain. If you’ve previously experienced knee injuries, consult with a physician to determine stretches, exercises, and any braces you can use to help you run healthier and safer.
Treating Runner’s Knee is a matter of treating your body in a responsible way. After experiencing considerable pain due to Runner’s Knee (or with any injury), be sure to rest the afflicted area and limit the amount of weight you place on it. Ice your knee after every workout to reduce swelling or whenever you experience pain. Anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve inflammation in your joints – ask your doctor for more information.
Most cases of runner’s knee that we see are related to issues with hip mechanics. If symptoms do not resolve after 2 weeks of reduced activity athletes should be assessed by a sports physician. Our doctors will determine if any underlying issue with lower extremity mechanics exists and work with you to resolve these issues so that you can get back to running faster and stay running pain free.
While everyone’s injury recovery is different, with time and the right guidance, athletes of every level can find relief from the effects Runner’s Knee. To consult with a sports physician about Runner’s Knee or recovering from any other sports-related injury, contact Velo Sports Rehab. Our experienced staff of medical professionals share a wide range of knowledge and expertise among them and can create a recovery plan that’s specific to you and your body. Give us a call or make an appointment online today.