How To Treat Runner's Knee

Runners kneeOur knee is a complex joint that is subject to a lot of common, as well as uncommon problems. As you might imagine, a lot of these problems derive from running and sports have to do with something that is called the “patellofemoral complex.” This has to do with the knee cap, quadriceps, and the patellar tendon. PFPS, or patellofemoral pain syndrome is known as “runner’s knee,” chondromalacia of the patella, or anterior knee pain.

For years the softening of the cartilage found within the knee cap was believed to be the source of runner’s knee. However, the pain that is experienced now with runner’s knee is believed to either come from the innervated subchondrial bone, infrapatellar fat pad, or possibly even the medial and lateral retinaculum of the joint.

Unfortunately, cartilage is known to have a lower amount of blood than that of the bones found in our body. As such, cartilage relies on compression to push out waste and allow nutrients to enter the cartilage through synovial fluid in the joint. While running, you may mistrack a knee cap – parts of the cartilage may be under too little or too much pressure for compression to occur as it should, which means nutrients will not enter into the joint.

This can result in deterioration of the cartilage and cause a great deal of pain in the knee.

Runner’s knee symptoms

Symptoms of runner’s knee can include pain being felt near and around the knee cap, specifically near the inner portion and below it. You may also feel that the pain gets worst and is more common after you sit for a long time (as your knees are bent). Other times pain might be common is when you’re walking or running downhill or at an angle, such as on stairs.

Aggravation of the symptoms is possible every time you bend the knee as it creates increased pressure between the surface of the joint and the knee cap of the surface of the thigh bone. This additional force on the injured area leads to pain.

Runner’s knee treatment

If you believe runner’s knee is in it’s early stages of development, you should limit the amount of stress that you put on this area to allow time for healing. It is very crucial for you to avoid running downhill as this adds stress onto the patella-femoral complex.

Exercises that you perform with a bent knee should be avoided.

You can use this exercise database to find some good exercises for building back up strength in your knee. It's best to start using the exercise examples with slow movements and bodyweight only. You should always consult a trainer professional before attempting to rehabilitate your own knee.

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