If you have knee pain during or after your daily run, you may think it’s a case of runner’s knee. However, you don’t have to be a runner to suffer from this condition. Here is some more information on what exactly runner’s knee is, what causes it, and how you can prevent it.
What Causes Runner’s Knee?
The medical term for runner’s knee is “patellofemoral pain syndrome.” The symptoms of runner’s knee include a dull pain in the front of the knee, a kneecap that is tender to the touch, and a grinding or clicking noise when you straighten or bend your knee. You might have pain after a period of being active, during physical activity, or you might even have it if you’ve been sitting with your knees bent for a long time. You can get it from running, but you can also get it from any other activity that can put stress on the knees: walking, cycling, jumping, and even going up and down stairs or constantly bending down.
What Can You Do About Runner’s Knee?
Fortunately, most cases of runner’s knee are easily managed – only very rarely is something as serious as surgery needed. It can be helped or prevented by:
- Wearing the right shoes. Make sure your shoes give you the proper arch support, especially when exercising. Depending on the type of activity, consider how much cushioning may or may not be needed as well.
- Exercising on soft surfaces. If you exercise on a hard surface such as concrete or asphalt it puts added stress on your legs and knees.
- Routine stretching. Stretching before and after most physical activities can help loosen up your muscles and decrease strain on your knees.
- Strengthening exercises. Strengthening the muscles of the lower extremities can help increase tolerance to more physical activity. However, exercises should be started at a low intensity and gradually progressed to harder difficulties to avoid exacerbation of knee pain.
If you are diagnosed with runner’s knee, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain medication, a reduction in activity, cold packs, a compression knee wrap, and/or elevation of the leg.
You don’t have to be a hard-core runner to get runner’s knee! If your knee hurts, contact Cynergy Physical and Occupational Therapy at one of the five locations in New York for help. Call (212) 974-7252 for an appointment today!