Runner’s knee earned the name because commonly a specific type of athlete develops the condition. But it doesn’t strike out non-athlete or non-runners. Even those who don’t lap around or run marathons could develop knee pain. In medical terms, the runner’s knee is known as patellofemoral pain syndrome and it isn’t bad news for patients. Proper treatment helps relieve pain and in most cases, people return to their activities, including walking and running.
How do people develop the runner’s knee?
Though the most common reason is running, any activity including jumping, skiing, and cycling that repeatedly puts stress over the knee joint can leads to the disorder. Here we have mentioned a few more causes:
Overuse - When you bend your knees over and again, the tissues in and around the kneecap gets irritated. This mostly happens when you do high-stress exercises that cause knee muscles to lengthen and shorten repeatedly.
Direct hit - Any direct hit or injury like a blow or fall could lead to the runner’s knee.
Chondromalacia patella - You develop the condition when the cartilage located under the kneecap breaks down. Malalignment - It is a condition in which bones are not lined up properly. If any bone from your hips to ankles is not in its correct position, your kneecaps don’t move smoothly because of which you feel knee pain.
Feet problems - If you have a problem like hypermobile feet in which the joints in and around feet move more than required, overpronation in which feet roll inward when you walk, or flat feet, chances of developing the runner's knee get high because your knees experience too much pressure when you walk.
Weak thigh muscles - The front thigh muscles, also known as quadriceps, keep kneecaps in their place whenever you stretch or bend. If they are weak, your kneecaps don’t stay in the right position.
What is the runner’s knee treated?
Doctors first determine the underlying cause and tailor the treatment accordingly. In general, patients are suggested to practice RICE.
- Rest - To keep stress away, avoid putting pressure on the knee
- Ice - Consider buying ice wraps for your knee because ice works like magic to treat pain and swelling
- Compression - Use an elastic bandage to wrap around your knees. This restricts further swelling
- Elevation - Keep your foot elevated when there is significant swelling. You can place a pillow under your knee to prevent further swelling when you’re sitting or lying down.
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