Muscle Weakness Or Imbalances
We often refer to the leg as a kinetic chain, which means that all your lower extremity joints work together to create meaningful movements. Your knee is one of those unfortunate joints that sits between your ankles and hips, which means that it will be affected if there is a dysfunction above or below. A common cause of Runners knee is muscle weakness or imbalances in the ankles or hips.
Top 7 Ways To Treat Your Runners Knee
Although runners knee is quite common among runners, its not really one specific injury. Its actually a broad term that is used to describe knee pain that runners can experience for many different reasons. If you see a doctor for your runners knee, he will probably call it patellofemoral pain syndrome. Today you will find out what is the fastest way to get rid of runners knee?
Things You Can Do To Have A Speedy Recovery
Depending on the scale of the knee injury, whether it is a meniscus tear, patellofemoral pain syndrome, or just a general knee pain, there are things runners can do to speed up the healing process.
While you should always follow your doctors advice and maybe take anti-inflammatory medication, there are some ways you can treat runners knee for a quick recovery.
- Rest. Stay off your feet and elevate your knee. DO NOT RUN. In fact, try not to walk. In order for your knee to recover fully, you need to give it time to do so. That means taking it easy for a little while.
- Ice. Ice will keep the swelling down and help keep the pain under control. If you need more pain relief, take an over the counter NSAID, like ibuprofen or naproxen, which will also help control the swelling. Try icing 3 to 4 times a day at first while youre taking it easy. Once the pain starts to abate and any swelling goes away, its okay to ice only when necessary.
- Stretch and support. Make sure you get the all-clear from your doctor before you start stretching because you dont want to start too soon and re-injure yourself. Stretching will help strengthen your joint so that you can avoid another injury in the future. For additional support, you could also consider wearing a knee brace when you are ready to get up onto your feet again. It might also be a good idea to continue wearing a knee brace when you start to run again after youve made a full recovery.
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How To Prevent Runners Knee
The good news is that runners knee is preventable by being mindful of a few best practices and adding them into your running routine.
Warm up prior to running. Try a brisk 5-minute walk to get your body ready for a run.
Stretch after your body is warm. Take time to stretch the main muscles you will be usinghips, thighs, quads, calves, and hamstrings.
Get your feet properly fitted for running shoes that fit you, specifically. And once they are worn out, be sure to replace them with fresh shoes.
Stay at a healthy weight. Extra weight puts added stress on your knees and joints.
Build up your mileage, gradually and safely. It is recommended that you add no more than 10% of the distance to your previous weeks run.
Strengthening. Focusing on the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals.
Cross-training. Dont just run, mix in other cardio exercises such as cycling, elliptical, and cross-training.
If runners knee has already struck, have no fear. There are numerous ways you can treat this condition.
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How To Get Back Running After Runners Knee
Here are the three keys to return safely to running after runners knee
Take your Time
Returning back to running, of course, will depend on how severe you damaged your knee.
Thus, its hard to guess how much recovery time you will need, especially when you put into consideration the biomechanical causes of the condition.
You cannot fix your muscles imbalances or running mechanics overnight.
So this cannot be rushed up. No one can
For instance, you may only need a few days off if you spot runners knee early, but if you have been running through pain for a while, you may need a lot longer.
But as a general guideline, full recovery from runners knee can take from four to eight weeks of no irritating activitiesincluding running and other activities that require a lot of knee bending and twisting.
To stay on the safe side, opt for cross-training activities that dont aggravate the pain and require minimum knee twisting and effort.
Take up aqua jogging, swimming, and the like.
And if a cross-training activity leads to knee pain, you shouldnt be doing it.
How To Treat Runners Knee
There is no one answer to this question as it depends on the individual and the severity of their condition. However, runners knee is generally a manageable condition that can be treated with a combination of rest, ice, and physical therapy. Most people will see a significant improvement within a few weeks, although it may take longer for the pain to completely go away.
Runners knee is an individual disorder that affects a variety of people. Some people can go without running for an extended period of time, while others will only have to reduce their running intensity. Rest for a few weeks after running is usually enough. While short-term activity may cause runners knee pain to become worse, this does not imply that the knee is worsening. To reduce your running fatigue, you should consider resting or limiting your running intensity. In any case, reduce the length of your runs but increase your running frequency. Increase strength and endurance for the ultimate in strength and endurance.
The quadriceps and glutes are typically the most important muscles to strengthen during a runners knee rehabilitation program. If you have any symptoms that are related to your running form, you may need to change it. It is recommended that runners increase their step rate in many cases.
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Why Choose Cooper To Diagnose And Treat Runners Knee
Cooper University Health Care has a team of seven fellowship-trained and board-certified sports medicine specialists with extensive experience in diagnosing and treating runners knee. You can count on us for:
- Fast access: Our policy is to see patients within 24 to 48 hours of a sports injury, whenever possible
- Comprehensive diagnostic resources: Your doctor will take a thorough health history, perform a physical exam, and order state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging, when necessary
- Personalized treatment: Treatment is personalized based on your age, general health and severity of symptoms, and may include:
- Rest/restricting activity until the pain subsides
- Cold packs to reduce pain and swelling
- Elevating the leg
Should I Get A Bone Scan Or Mri
In all my research, personal experience, interviews, and coaching experience, Ive never found mention of MRI or CT Scans being helpful in diagnosing Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.
However, bone scans have shown to be worthwhile for chronic sufferers who want a more definitive diagnosis. If the patella is truly distressed or tired like we discussed in the previous section, it will show up on a bone scan. A bone scan works when youre given an injection with a tiny amount of radioactive material. It shows up on the scan and spreads wherever your blood goes .
Bone scans are expensive and Id ask your doctor if its appropriate if you have chronic PFPS. My research has concluded that this type of scan can confirm a PFPS diagnosis and help isolate the overused tissue.
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Whats Going On In The Knee
Patellofemoral knee pain is the most common type of knee pain I see in my sports medicine practice. The patella is located inside the patellar tendon and connects to the quadriceps muscle group, the most powerful group in the body.
Pain can come from several causes. One is an injury to the cartilage under the patella. Poor running or biking mechanics resulting from weak or tight muscles can contribute. Heres how: Ideally, your pelvis remains in a steady, level state as you run. But if your muscles are underconditioned, your pelvis will wobble as you run. This stresses the knees and can cause runners knee
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What Should I Do About Heel Pain
Andy recommends applying ice to the area. He says the best way to do this is to freeze a small bottle of water, then place it on the floor and roll it back and forth under your foot for about 20 minutes. Never place ice directly on your skin.
There are also several stretches you can do to help heel pain. See the Health A-Z section on treating heel pain for guidance on how to do them.
Stop running and see a GP straight away if there’s a lot of swelling in the heel or the area under your foot. Otherwise, see a GP after a week to 10 days if the pain does not go away.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Runners Knee
Patellofemoral syndrome is commonly described to be a dull ache located inside of your knee cap, or patella. You may also experience the sensation of rubbing, grinding, or clicking under the patella. When this issue is acute, the knee cap may be tender to touch.
In addition to sports and exercise, symptoms of patellofemoral pain syndrome will be present with any activities that involve bending or straightening your knee while weight bearing, such as:
- Standing up from or sitting on a chair
- Going up or down stairs
Will Runners Knee Get Worse If You Continue To Run Through The Pain
Your pain may get worse in response to activity in the short term, but that doesnt mean that your knee actually is getting worse.
Let me explain
Remember that cartilage change is often unrelated to pain, and that either way, cartilage change as a result of activity takes months and years, not weeks!
Its certainly sensible to look to get patellofemoral pain under control as quickly as possible, but do not despair if you have an event that you absolutely have to run, you can consider doing so if your pain is tolerable.
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Surgery For Runners Knee
Surgery is rarely indicated for patellofemoral knee pain. If all conservative measures have failed and an individual is unable to participate in desired activities without significant pain, a surgeon may attempt to alter mechanics of the knee through a procedure such as a lateral release. In this procedure, the lateral patellofemoral ligament is cut to decrease the pull on the patella to the outside of the knee and attempt to improve tracking along the trochlear groove of the femur. The decision for surgery requires a lengthy discussion with the surgeon, reviewing several factors, including: the medical history of the patient the likelihood for success of the procedure and whether or not it will restore the individuals ability to perform athletically.
Fortunately, with appropriate pelvic and lower limb strengthening and modification of risk factors for patellofemoral pain, the vast majority of cases resolve and individuals can return to their full athletic potential.
Severe Runners Knee Cases
In some severe cases of runners knee, the above steps may not help as much.
So what to do then?
Well, severe cases of the runner may need immediate surgery to fix the damage.
A surgeon could take out the injured cartilage or mend the position of the patella.
Hopefully, you will never have to endure severe cases of runners knee.
This conditionand most other running injuriescan be easily treatedwhen spotted at the right time and before they get any worseand with the implementation of the right preventative strategies.
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Why Do My Knees Hurt After Running
Why do you run? Because it feels good. Because it relieves stress. Because it enables you to eat cake. I get that, because running is also important to me. Im a 32-time marathoner who knows how frustrating it is to be injured. Its the reason I became a sports doctor. Ripping my anterior cruciate ligament playing football when I was in medical school was devastating, but it was the single most important event to influence my work. Its what drives me to help my patients. Almost every day I treat runners with achy knees. Many are freaked out: can I still run? Will I have to switch to swimming? Thankfully, most knee problems wont keep you off the road for long. Heres what you need to know about common knee injuries.
What Should I Do About Runner’s Knee
To help knee pain at home, Andy recommends applying ice to the knee and stretching.
Hold ice on the painful area for around 20 minutes a few times a day. Never put ice directly on your skin.
To stretch the area, Andy recommends lying on your side with your bad leg on top.
Bend your top leg so your foot goes back towards your bottom, then hold it there with your hand and keep both knees touching.
Hold the stretch for at least 45 seconds, breathing deeply and feeling the stretch in the thigh. Repeat this around 6 times a day.
If the pain’s severe or the knee’s swollen, see a GP straight away.
If your knee pain is not severe, stop running and get it checked by a GP or physiotherapist if the pain does not go away after a week.
They can also recommend stretches or exercises to help you recover.
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Let Us Help You Get Back On Your Feet
Our sports medicine team at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine is fully equipped to provide expert treatment and care to patients afflicted with orthopaedic injuries. If youre suffering from runners knee, wed be glad to help you regain mobility and get back to your daily routine. To find out more about our services and treatment options, request an appointment online or give us a
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Change Your Running Technique To Cure Runners Knee
Consider changing the way that you run. This isnt straightforward, but if your symptoms are related to your running form, this may be something you need to change.
Many runners will benefit from increasing their step rate . You can find more information about this here: Gait Re-training for Runners Knee Patellofemoral Pain & Running Form
I hope this quick guide helps you in your recovery, and gives you a realistic idea of how long it will take to recover from runners knee.
If you have any questions, feel free to let me know in the comments below
Dr. Brad Neal
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What Should I Do About Achilles Pain When I Run
To treat achilles pain at home, Andy recommends applying ice to the area if you can feel a lump there . You can also gently massage the area with your fingers.
You could also try using heel wedges in your shoes. Get advice about this from a sports or running shop.
See a GP or a physiotherapist if you have achilles pain that does not disappear after 3 to 4 weeks.
If you have a sudden, sharp pain, your achilles tendon may have torn. See a GP straight away if this is the case.
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Runners knee, or patellofemoral stress syndrome, occurs when the kneecap brushes against the tip of the thigh bone . As you might have guessed, this is a common injury among runners, but various physical activities can cause runners knee, including walking, biking, skiing, jumping, and playing soccer.
If you begin to see signs of runners kneeincluding pain while bending your leg, swelling around the knee cap, and popping or grinding in the kneeyou should begin treatment as soon as possible. First of all, discontinue the activities that cause your symptoms to appear. Then, try these at-home treatments for runners knee.
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What Is A Runners Knee
Irritation of the iliotibial band causes your runners knee.
Therefore the official name of this injury is the iliotibial band friction syndrome.
MedicineNet explains it perfectly:
The iliotibial band runs along the lateral or outside aspect of the thigh and is an important structure that stabilizes the outside of the knee as it flexes and extends.
Inflammation of the iliotibial band can occur as it crosses back and forth across the bony prominence of the femoral epicondyle as the knee flexes and extends.
Your iliotibial band starts at the outer side of your hip and ends on the outer side of your lower leg.
Your thigh bone bulges on the lateral side right above your knee.
When you bend and extend your knee, your iliotibial band has to cross this bulge, just like a speed bump.
Usually, this crossing is no problem because there is not much friction. However, when you iliotibial band gets to tight, friction might increase. It causes irritation and inflammation of the iliotibial band.
That is what we call a runners knee and causes pain.