If you’re an athlete or even an everyday runner, chances are your knees have taken some kind of insult in the past. Knee pain is pretty common in exercise enthusiasts or people are actively bend their knees, be it cycling, Pilates or actual running and if you fit the role for any of these, Runner’s knee is a term you’ve probably come across.
Runner’s knee isn’t a unique condition of the knee. In fact it encompasses all of those mild knee injuries that you can contract from overusing the knee joint too much. Medically known as the patellofemoral pain syndrome, Runner’s knee can include conditions such as chondromalacia patella or direct trauma to the kneecap.
Other causes of runner’s knee include misalignment of the bones that meet at the knee joint, foot problems such as problems with pronation or arch heights and weakened thigh muscles. However, since Runner’s knee is primarily classified as an overuse injury, repetitive bending of the knee joint during exercise is usually the reason behind most cases.
How Do I Treat Runner’s Knee?
Most cases of Runner’s Knee subside with time but if the knee pain is keeping you from your daily routines, then considering treatment options is a good idea. While there is no direct cure for Runner’s Knee nor are there prescription drugs available that specifically treat the condition.
Physical therapy is the most popular and the most inexpensive way to break Runner’s Knee and keeps it from recurring again. Here are some top tips to get rid of Runner’s Knee once and for all:
- Take a Break! The first step to treating Runner’s Knee is to not run at all. Yes, that can be challenging especially if you’re a professional athlete but resting your knee joint is absolutely essential to treating Runner’s Knee. Avoid any exercises that involve bending the knee. This can include squatting, running, lunging and even sitting for long periods.
- Use NSAIDs: Not only do NSAIDs help alleviate pain, they also combat inflammation and swelling and prevent the condition from becoming worse.
- Turn to Ice Packs: Icing the knee for a few hours in the first week can provide a good amount of relief to your Runner’s Knee.
- Stretch Your Thighs: As mentioned already, physical therapy is imperative to guarantee speedy recovery from Runner’s Knee. Stretch and strengthening exercises that target the thigh muscles can make your knee joint more mobile. To get the best results, booking an appointment with a professional physical therapist is an option you should consider.
- Wear the Right Shoes: Using orthotics or insoles that comfort the sole can help give support to your lower limbs and improve Runner’s Knee overall.
Experiencing any challenges with your running? Contact Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation, your local Wyckoff physical therapy center today!