Runner's Knee/Patello-Femoral Joint Pain
About 40% of running injuries occur in the knee and around 13% of runners have suffered knee pain in the last year. Runner's knee is quite rightly called this due to its prevalence in the running world.
What is it?
The underside of the knee cap becomes inflamed due to repeated stresses placed on the cartilage leading to pain and swelling.
Why would I suffer from this?
Runner's knee is thought to occur due to various reasons which include; over pronation at the ankle without adequate support, weak Quadriceps, Gluteal and/or Hamstrings muscles, extended periods of sitting, long runs, tight Quadriceps and/or Gluteal muscles or excessive downhill training.
What you can do
Increase your rest days to allow the inflammation to settle and go for low weight bearing activities such as swimming or cycling. Use a cold pack for 15-minute intervals to reduce pain and maintain full knee function. Make sure you do plenty of stretching to your Quadriceps, Gluteal and Hamstrings muscles and address any muscle weakness that has been identified by a health care professional. Kinesio taping can be very helpful to help stabilise the knee cap and give you added support.
Could my knee pain be anything else?
Yes, there are many structures in the knee which can cause pain at the front and is always worth getting it assessed by a professional. Once diagnosed, an appropriate treatment and rehabilitation plan can be implemented to get you back running as quickly as possible.
A few possibilities for anterior knee pain include; plica syndrome, patella tendonitis, prepatella bursitis, anterior cruciate ligament sprain and meniscal tears. This signifies the importance of getting any injury examined, to ensure further injury doesn’t prevent you from getting to the start line.