Most of us have developed knee pain at one point in our lives or the other. Runner’s knee is a broad term that is used to refer to any of the conditions which are characterized by knee pain. A good thing to note at the very beginning of this article is that this condition is not entirely limited to runners and anyone (including athletes and plus sizes) can easily use a knee brace to stop worsening of the conditions. it is common to many individuals as I will explain below.
The typical knee joint consist of muscle, cartilage, ligaments, and bone in layers. The bone that lies just above the knee joint is referred to as the patella. It serves as an attachment to various muscles. Its mobility is one of the major causes of knee injuries.
Examples of the syndromes that cause runners knee are iliotibial band syndrome, patellofemoral malalignment and chondromalacia patella.
The underlying problem in runner’s knee is the overuse of the joint. Any activity which overstimulates and causes stress to the knee joint will eventually result in runner’s knee. Among these include, running, excessive walking, skiing, biking, jumping, cycling, and soccer.
Other underlying conditions include:
• Trauma to the knee
• Weak or tense thigh muscles
• Dislocated knee cap
What symptoms and signs will I present with if I have Runner’s knee?
Recent research has shown that the majority of people will present to a doctor with advanced knee joint problems. This is because the most common presentation in individuals is a dull pain which may be mild behind the kneecap. The pain is aggravated by normal walking, running or even exercise.
You will also experience pain when:
• Seating down with the knees bent
• Standing up from sitting position
In later stages, you will likely have a swollen knee and a grinding/popping sound when you walk. Of note, in particular, is that patients with iliotibial band syndrome present with pain on the outside of the knee.
How will a diagnosis be made?
First, your doctor will take a thorough history then perform a general exam before undertaking lab tests, or radiological exams to confirm the diagnosis.
What treatments are available to me if I do have runner’s knee?
The good news is that this condition is curable depending on the underlying cause, for example, compression will help reduce the swelling around the knee. You will be required to rest and that will prevent exposing the knee to excess strain. Ice and analgesics’ will be used for pain relief and control of swelling. Physiotherapy may be suggested to rehabilitate the joint and restore function. In cases of total cartilage damage at the knee, surgery may be required but this is hardly ever the case.
How can I prevent runner’s knee?
• Ideal running shoes
• Gradually increase the intensity of your workouts
• Always undertake warm-up exercises before attempting strenuous activity on the knee joint.
• Proper form when running
Runner’s knee happens to most runners, but preventing and treating it is in your power. If you have been diagnosed then work with your doctor and physiotherapist to get your back into shape.