Runner’s knee is the frequent time period used to explain any considered one of a number of situations that trigger ache across the kneecap or patella. These situations embody: anterior knee ache syndrome, patellofemoral malalignment, chondromalacia patella, and iliotibial band syndrome.
Because the identify suggests, working is a standard reason behind runner’s knee, however any exercise that repeatedly stresses the knee joint could cause the dysfunction, together with strolling, snowboarding, biking, leaping, biking, and taking part in soccer.
In line with the Harvard Medical College, runner’s knee is extra frequent in girls than in males, significantly in girls of center age. Chubby people are particularly susceptible to the dysfunction.
What Are the Signs of Runner’s Knee?
The hallmark of runner’s knee is a boring, aching ache round or behind the kneecap, or patella, particularly the place it meets the decrease a part of the thighbone or femur.
You could really feel ache when:
- climbing or descending stairs
- sitting down or standing up
- sitting for a very long time with the knee bent
Different signs embody swelling and popping or grinding within the knee.
Within the case of iliotibial band syndrome, the ache is most acute on the skin of the knee. That is the place the iliotibial band, which runs from the hip to the decrease leg, connects to the tibia, or the thicker, internal bone of the decrease leg.
What Causes Runner’s Knee?
The ache of runner’s knee could also be attributable to irritation of the smooth tissues or lining of the knee, worn or torn cartilage, or strained tendons. Any of the next also can contribute to runner’s knee:
- trauma to the kneecap
- misalignment of the kneecap
- full or partial dislocation of the kneecap
- flat toes
- weak or tight thigh muscle mass
- insufficient stretching earlier than train
- a fractured kneecap
- plica syndrome or synovial plica syndrome through which the liner of the joint turns into thickened and infected
In some instances, ache begins within the again or hip and is transmitted to the knee. This is named “referred ache.”
How Is Runner’s Knee Recognized?
To verify a analysis of runner’s knee, your physician will acquire a whole historical past and conduct an intensive bodily examination which will embody a blood check, X-rays, an MRI scan, or a CT scan.
Your physician will tailor your therapy to the underlying trigger, however generally, runner’s knee might be efficiently handled with out surgical procedure. Most frequently, step one in therapy is to follow RICE:
- Relaxation: Keep away from repetitive stress on the knee.
- Ice: To scale back ache and swelling, apply an ice pack or a package deal of frozen peas to the knee for as much as 30 minutes at a time and keep away from any warmth to the knee.
- Compression: Wrap your knee with an elastic bandage or sleeve to limit swelling however not too tightly as to trigger swelling beneath the knee.
- Elevation: Place a pillow below your knee when sitting or mendacity down to forestall additional swelling. When there may be important swelling, maintain the foot elevated above the knee and the knee above the extent of the guts.
In the event you want further ache reduction, you possibly can take sure over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), equivalent to aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Acetaminophen, the lively ingredient present in Tylenol, also can assist. You could wish to speak to your physician earlier than taking these medicines, particularly should you endure from different situations or take different prescription drugs.
As soon as the ache and swelling has subsided, your physician might advocate particular workouts or bodily remedy to revive your knee’s full energy and vary of movement. They might tape your knee or provide you with a brace to offer additional assist and ache reduction. You may additionally must put on shoe inserts often called orthotics.
Surgical procedure could also be advisable in case your cartilage is broken or in case your kneecap must be realigned.
How Can Runner’s Knee Be Prevented?
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends the next steps to forestall runner’s knee:
- Keep in form. Be certain that your total well being and conditioning are good. Reduce weight in case you are carrying additional kilos.
- Stretch. Do a five-minute warmup adopted by stretching workouts earlier than you run or carry out any exercise that stresses the knee. Your physician can present you workouts to extend your knee’s flexibility and to forestall irritation.
- Step by step improve coaching. By no means abruptly improve the depth of your exercise; make adjustments incrementally.
- Use correct trainers. Purchase high quality footwear with good shock absorption, and ensure they match correctly. Don’t run in case your footwear are too worn. Put on orthotics if in case you have flat toes.
- Use correct working kind. Lean ahead and maintain your knees bent. Attempt to run on a smooth, easy floor. Keep away from working on concrete. Stroll or run in a zigzag sample when taking place a steep incline.