What Is Runner’s Knee?
Runner’s Knee is not one specific injury but rather a generalized term that covers several conditions that could be affecting the kneecap and surrounding area. The condition is signified by a dull aching pain around or behind the kneecap. Despite the name, runner’s knee is not exclusively caused by running. It can be caused by running or any other activity that causes repeated stress to the knee joint. Some of the conditions that are commonly referred to under the umbrella of runner’s knee are anterior knee pain syndrome, patellofemoral malalignment, chondromalacia patella, and iliotibial band syndrome.
What Causes Runner’s Knee?
There are a variety of causes of runner’s knee. Some of the main causes include:
- A naturally occurring structural defect ie. kneecap that is too high in the knee joint
- Previous injury
- Excessive training and overuse
- Poor arch support
- Weak thigh and hip muscles
- Tight Achilles tendons or tight hamstrings
- A particular way of walking or running such as walking or running with feet rolling inward while the kneecaps are pulled outward
What Are The Symptoms Of Runner’s Knee?
The most common symptom of Runner’s Knee is a dull and aching pain near the kneecap. This pain can be centralized around/behind the kneecap or where the kneecap meets the bottom of the thigh bone (femur).
Runner’s Knee can cause you to experience pain while:
- Sitting down
- Standing up
- Going up or down stairs
- Getting up from prolonged sitting
Additional symptoms include:
- Popping, grinding, or clicking when bending or straightening the knee
- Knee is tender to the touch
How Can I Treat Runner’s Knee?
If you suspect that you might have runner’s knee, it is recommended that you stop running until you are able to see your healthcare provider and discuss treatment options. Treatment options can include:
- Icing your knee
- Using a compression knee wrap
- Elevating your leg
- Wearing shoes with better arch support
Once the pain and swelling has been managed, your healthcare provider may recommend stretching and strengthening exercises to help rebuild the strength and mobility of your lower extremity. Depending on the severity and your personal preferences, your healthcare provider will likely recommend working with a physical therapist.
Your healthcare provider will ask you different questions to assess your condition and determine which treatments will be necessary and right for you. Some of the factors that may affect which treatment options are prescribed to you are:
- Current health as well as family history
- Past medical history
- How much pain you are experiencing
- How severe the injury is and how long the condition may last
Where Can I Receive Treatment For My Runner’s Knee?
At Advanced Kinetics Physical Therapy we offer physical therapy and injury prevention services that can help treat your runner’s knee or help you prevent it from developing in the first place. These services are available at our locations in Falls Church and McLean, Virginia. If you’re interested in learning more about how our physical therapy and injury prevention services can help you, please get in touch with us!