What You Need To Know About Runner's Knee
For anyone completing a 5k, marathon or even short distance runners such as sprinters, Mueller braces and supports can make a big difference in the symptoms of Runner's Knee. Also known as patellofemoral pain, this type of injury is caused by muscle imbalances, too much use, or a misalignment. Runners will typically feel the pain under their knees or around the knee cap when bending their knees, walking or running, or when taking the stairs. While the name Runner's Knee gets its name from runners, it can actually be caused from any action which puts stress on the knees. It could be walking, bicycling, high jumping, skiing or sports such as soccer.
WHO'S AT RISK?
While it's easy to say all runners are at risk, some people are more at risk than others. Research indicates runner's knee is much more common in women and specifically, middle aged women. Overweight men and women are also particularly apt to end up with runner's knee as well and, should be proactive by wearing knee braces and supports when exercising.
SYMPTOMS OF RUNNER'S KNEE
The most common complaint indicating Runner's Knee is a low key, dull pain around and behind the knee, specifically where the knee and thighbone meet. Pain tends to occur when walking, taking the stairs, kneeling, extended sitting with knees bent and, of course, running. Patients may also find swelling of the knee or a popping/grinding sound emanating from the knee.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
It all comes down to irritation, particularly between the soft tissue of the knee and its lining. Those who have worn or torn cartilage or strained tendons can also claim Runner's Knee. However, a number of other situations can also lend themselves to this diagnosis.
FIRST STEP ONCE PAIN HITS
While it's easy to self-diagnose, it's important to meet with a doctor to confirm the prognosis. There, the doctor will perform a complete examination and perhaps even a blood test, x-ray, MRI or CT. Then, the physician will customize the treatment based on the actual cause of the problem. The treatment could be surgery; however, in most cases, this is not necessary. Much like a sprained ankle, the first line of treatment is RICE: rest, ice, compression and elevation. Patients are typically instructed to use aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen. After the swelling goes down and pain eases up, physical therapy may be necessary.
By staying in good physical condition, athletes reduce the chances of runner's knee, as well as always stretching prior to exercise. Start slowly on a training program, incrementally increasing the intensity. Further, doctors recommend proper running shoes that will absorb the shock. If you suffer from flat feet, find the proper orthotics before beginning a running regimen instead of when the pain hits.