What is runner’s knee?
For those who put their heart and soul into the sport, getting sidelined by an injury can be devastating for runners. From shin splints to stress fractures, getting hurt is a fact of life.
And one of the most common injuries, “runner’s knee,” can keep you off the road for an extended period of time.
Here’s what you need to know about patellofemoral pain syndrome or best known as runner’s knee.
What is runner’s knee?
It is pain in the front of the knee and around the kneecap according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. The pain usually begins gradually and is often related to activity.
What causes runner’s knee?
“Runner’s knee is rarely caused by an actual injury, rather it is caused by overuse,” says Dr. Mark Neault, an orthopedic surgeon at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill.
How do you treat it?
Dr. Neault recommends that you stop immediately if you feel pain. In many cases, runners tend to work through the pain on their own and this often results in them having to stop running or eliminating the fun in running because each step is painful. For the most part, physical therapy is effective but in some cases, a Cortisone injection maybe necessary.
“When you feel the pain, you should stop immediately,” says Dr. Neault. “Continuing to run while in treatment is okay, as long as you keep your mileage to a pain-free level. For instance, if three miles is painful…. try running only two miles. Pushing through pain usually only makes the situation worse because more pain and tighter tissue results in more pain again. It can become a viscous cycle.”
What can be done to prevent it?
• Maintaining flexibility
• Foam rolling on a regular basis
• Having a basic stretching routine you perform before every run is a good idea.
• Wearing the correct shoes.
“I recommend any runner be fit with shoes specific to their foot alignment and gait pattern. If a runner is struggling, I always recommend physical therapy for a formal gait analysis. Correct shoes and running mechanics eliminates most overuse injuries,” he says
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