Runner’s Knee Treatment
For runners and other active folks, runner’s knee, or patellofemoral pain syndrome, is a common and frustrating pain that can really get in the way of your favorite activities. Runner’s knee occurs when an irritation between the area where the kneecap rubs against the thighbone occurs and produces pain in the front of the knee that can be both sharp and sudden or dull and chronic. When symptoms of runner’s knee are present, it’s important to identify the source and reason for the pain.
Where is my runner’s knee pain coming from?
Runner’s knee is an overuse injury that may be the result of biomechanical issues, strength and mobility imbalances, poorly conditioned quadriceps, or tight hamstrings. It may also be a signal that you have weak core muscles or an issue with hip control. If you’ve recently increased your mileage as a runner, it could put your body at a greater risk for imbalances that contribute to runner’s knee.
When should I seek treatment for runner’s knee?
If symptoms of runner’s knee are present, it’s important to address the issue head-on and not to wait until it gets worse. If you’re experiencing pain while walking up and down stairs, walking on uneven surfaces, pain that develops after sitting for long periods of time, or if you hear a “crack” or “pop” while bending/straightening the knee, you may have runner’s knee. Correcting the source of the pain is crucial to fixing the problem and avoiding long-term injuries.
How can physical therapy help with runner’s knee?
Your physical therapist will work with you to combat the symptoms of runner’s knee by conducting a full body analysis and locating any problem areas that may be contributing to your pain. They’ll assess your flexibility and provide a plan of care that is unique to your body and the activities in which you frequently participate. They may also utilize other techniques such as:
• Custom strengthening exercises to protect against reinjury, targeted at the hip, knee, and ankle to help relieve pressure on the knee.
• Manual Therapy to provide proper mobility and tissue healing for irritated structures around the knee or structures preventing proper mechanics.
• Postural retraining to instill proper form and position when running or performing other high-demand activities to reduce stress on the knee.
• Stretching exercises to increase flexibility of the the hip, knee, and ankle muscles.
Physical therapists can provide the necessary tools to treat and prevent runner’s knee, allowing you to return to your favorite activities pain-free and better than ever! To learn more about how to prevent runner’s knee or to eliminate any current discomfort, book a physical therapy assessment today.
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“I was out for weeks from a sore knee. Nothing would relieve the pain. After one visit, I was able to start running again. After a couple, I ran a half marathon.”