What is runner’s knee and how can you treat or prevent it? Today we’ll be breaking down one of the most common injuries in running. Looking at the truth behind the causes. And how we can prepare our bodies to prevent it from happening moving forward.
What is Runner’s Knee?
Patellofemoral pain syndrome or anterior knee pain syndrome (runner’s knee) is a condition where the cartilage under the kneecap is injured, typically due to overuse.
This is one of the most common knee injuries that doctors see in patients.
What Causes Runner’s Knee
Below we will review the most common causes of runner’s knee.
Overuse. Probably the number one cause of runner’s knee. This is especially problematic for people that go from being inactive to active quickly, without building up.
Weak or imbalance leg muscles. This can cause pain at the legs main connecting point, the knee.
Improper form. Many times it can be caused by poor form when running or walking.
The wrong shoes. The shoes you wear will have a direct effect on your knees.
Injury. Runner’s knee can be caused by a strain or hitting your knee against something.
Runner’s knee symptoms can manifest in a number of ways. Below are the most common symptoms associated with patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Pain in the knee when active. This pain typically starts at the front of the knee cap but can be on the sides or back of the knee.
Knee pain when sitting for long periods. This can be anywhere in the knee.
Tenderness to touch. Runners’ knees can often be sore to touch after activities.
Swelling in the knee. Any swelling in the knees should be noted and is typically a sign something is not right.
Treatment for any injury can be different for every person. And one the best things you can do is rest the injured area. That all said, let’s take a look at some of the most recommended treatments for from doctors. Which
Resting your knee. Taking time off can be one of the most effect treatments. To heal completely may require taking off an extended time from running.
Icing your knee. This is is a great way to help reduce swelling and tenderness in the knee. Start with 10-15 minutes in the morning and i the evening.
Compression. Using some sort of knee sleeve or compression can help speed up the healing process. I would even recommend wearing these at night.
Elevate your knee. This will again help reduce swelling. Try laying on your back and placing a pillow under your knee. This is also a great way to sleep.
Stretching your lower body. You should stretch your whole body with a focus on your lower body. And primarily your calves, quads, hamstrings, IT bands, and lower back.
There are a few ways to help prevent runners knee.
Stretching. One of the best ways to help treat and prevent runners knee in the long run. Focus active stretching before your workouts. And then doing more static stretching in the morning or evenings. Not around your workouts.
Strengthening the muscles around the knee. There are a number of workouts you can do to focus specifically on the muscles that connect to the knee. Here is a list of some of our favorite exercises to strengthen the knee.
Make sure you have proper footwear. I highly recommend going to a running store that will do a stride analysis. This will help you find the right shoes.
Work on your running form. Start with the basics and work on form. The best ways to do this are through running drills and working with a coach.
Watch your body weight to speed ratio. The faster you run the more impact it has on your knees. So the heavier you are means even more stress legs. So lowering your bodyweight or running speed are great ways to reduce the impact from running.