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Runner's Knee - The Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

By Edited Nov 27, 2016 0 0

 Runner’s knee is one of the most common running injuries. When I started to get back into running I was so excited about it that I quickly went off to a sports shop to invest in a pair of shoes so I could get on my way. To me shoes are shoes so it didn’t really matter.

I was going nicely, increasing my mileage little by little until I realized I had a pain in the knee area after every run. Many runners simply give up when runner’s knee develops, but quite often it is just the shoes and it may just be the case of going to a specialized store where you will actually be analyzed in the way you walk.

Shoes play a major role, but there are also a lot of other things you can do when you realize whether you have runners knee.

Runner's Knee Symptoms

Firstly you will have to find out if this is the real thing and once you have summed that up you can dig a little deeper.Here are a few things you should look for.

A dull ache in front of the knee

  • Pain is felt walking up or down stairs, kneeling, bending down or squatting.
  • Pain will be focused around or behind the patella area and usually in the center.
  • You may feel as if the knee is giving in with a crack

How to Treat Runner's Knee

When looking at runner’s knee treatment the first thing is find out is the cause of the problem. This may be temporary, but on the whole it is most likely that it relates to the structure of the foot and this is what is causing the pain.

People with flat feet or feet that tend to roll over will do a lot of damage to the kneecap. If your quadriceps muscles are weak or you have tight hamstrings then this may also lead to the problem.

knee diagram

Use the R.I.C.E formula

This is well known in the world of muscles and sports injuries. The acronym stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. Treating your knee with the appropriate bandage, ice for 20 minute with regularperiods and plenty of rest will do it a lot of good. Elevating the knee will reduce swelling.

Strengthen the knee by working on your quadriceps is the best way forward. To do this you should perform a set of contractions with the quads, holding them for about 15 seconds.Read further down about the exercises you can do.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Runner's Knee Pain

The shoes you run in are your tool so this is why you have to choose carefully. They will probably not lead to the injury, but you will soon discover they you have a problem if you are running in the wrong shoes and it will certainly make it worse.

Running shoes goes far beyond whether they are too big or small. This is your only really expensive piece of equipment that you have to buy and if you compare it with other sports like cycling for example there is no comparison so choose carefully.

You will either be flat-footed or have a big arch. Some people tend to roll their feet from the heel to the toe, in what is described as pronation. You either underpronate when you roll your foot rolls towards the outside, instead of from heel to toe which is described as neutral.

shoes

credit: flickr.com/photos/lovelihood/7137748883

Overpronation is where there is too much roll across the outside to inside of the foot.

You can test this at home as well. If you get out of the shower you will see your foot print on the tiles.

  • A print with a curved arch tells you that you have a normal foot.
  • A print with hardly any curve which shows the whole foot means you have flat feet and overpronate. Here you should choose motion control running shoes. These shoes will help control your foot from rolling over more than it needs to.
  • A print with a thin line between heel and toe with a sharp curve along the inside of your foot means you have a high arch and underpronate. Here you should choose cushioned running shoes. These types of shoes are designed to allow the feet to roll inwards. They typically have a soft midsole with and adequate amount of support.

What to Look for When You Go Shopping for Runner's Shoes

  • Make sure you go to a specialist shop. Someone who deals directly in running will be the best person to speak to.
  • Take your shoes with you so they can see what type of foot you have. They will be able to see this by looking at the way it has been worn, but it is also recommended that you find out for yourself what your foot type is. A specialist store will also have a machine to see the way you walk and this will tell them more about your foot type.
  • Remember that you are looking for something to solve the runner’s knee issue and this will be your first thought, not the color or the style. This is where so many people go wrong.
  • Check for size, especially. The toe must not be tight, but your foot must not want to slide around either. The upper part of the shoe should also feel snug.

Runner's Knee Exercises

Exercises for runners knee will usually involve the quadriceps since these often cause runner’s knee as mentioned above. Apart from the feet, this is the second thing to look at.

If your thighs are in the right shape, working efficiently so will your knees, assuming your feet have been sorted out. This is because the knee is connected to the thigh. When cartilage rubs against each other it wears away and this is where the pain begins.

An imbalance begins because the hamstrings at the back of the thigh will develop more than the front and this is why one has to perform strengthening exercises for the quadriceps. Also be aware that runner’s knee can develop from general overuse as well as from running on uneven surfaces. Try to stick to level surfaces as much as possible.

Runner's Knee Support

There are especially designed runner’s knee braces and bands that you can buy at your pharmacy, which can do a lot to take the pain away. You have probably seen a lot of runners as well as top tennis players wearing something like this, proving they do the job.

A physiotherapist can tape the patella , but these days a runner’s knee brace or band has been so well designed that it is probably more cost effective to head off to a specialized sports store or pharmacy and buy one of these.

Some of the more strenuous exercises should be taken with more care. Some people may have an imbalance in the quadriceps and this will make the problem worse if you try and do any kind of exercises involving weights. Before you do this check to see what the prognosis is and then you can move on to knee extensions using machines.

The more you exercise and strengthen the quadriceps, the faster the recovery time. It is not advisable running great lengths or running through the pain as this could eventually lead to something like arthritis, although probably the most damage you could do is wear your patella out.

Preventing Runner's Knee

There are especially designed runner’s knee braces and bands that you can buy at your pharmacy, which can do a lot to take the pain away. You have probably seen a lot of runners as well as top tennis players wearing something like this, proving they do the job.

injury

A physiotherapist can tape the patella , but these days a runner’s knee brace or band has been so well designed that it is probably more cost effective to head off to a specialized sports store or pharmacy and buy one of these.

Some of the more strenuous exercises should be taken with more care. Some people may have an imbalance in the quadriceps and this will make the problem worse if you try and do any kind of exercises involving weights. Before you do this check to see what the prognosis is and then you can move on to knee extensions using machines.

The more you exercise and strengthen the quadriceps, the faster the recovery time. It is not advisable running great lengths or running through the pain as this could eventually lead to something like arthritis, although probably the most damage you could do is wear your patella out.

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