Many athletes such as runners, jumpers, skiers, cyclists and soccer players put heavy force on their knees. But these days you don’t need to be an athelete to experience Runner’s Knee. Several things can bring on this condition like overuse of the knee, a direct hit to the knee, your bones aren’t ligned up, problems with your feet, and weak or unbalanced thigh muscles. Runner’s knee is also a term used to describe several health conditions that creates pain across the kneecap (patella). These conditions include anterior knee pain syndrome, patellofemoral malalignment, and chondromalacia patella.
Cause of runners knee
The knee is a complex structure, which is very sensitive and many factors can play a role in runner’s knee, including:
Knee cap misalignment
Complete or partial dislocation
Tightness, imbalance, or weakness of thigh muscles
Patellofemoral pain could be the consequence of irritation with the soft tissues about the knee. Strained tendons are quite common in athletes. Other predisposing factors to patellofemoral pain include overuse, muscle imbalance, and inadequate stretching. Pain that begins in another area of the body, including the back or hip, might result in knee pain (referred pain).
In many individuals with runner’s knee, the kneecap may be out of alignment. Vigorous activities, therefore, can cause excessive stress and wear around the cartilage under the kneecap. This can then lead to the softening and breaking down of the cartilage behind the patella (chondromalacia patella), hence, causing damage to the underlying bone and irritate the joint lining.
Symptoms of runners knee
The pain of runner’s knee can be felt either behind the kneecap itself or at the back of the knee. It may also develop after undertaking physical activity. Consequently, you may experience a grinding sensation around the kneecap area or have pain develop when walking down or up stairs, kneeling, squatting, and even sitting having a bent knee for an extended time.
To treat runners knee it is important to know the exact problem triggering the pain, which is usually nonsurgical.
• First-aid: Stop doing any action that triggers knee pain. This probably means stopping any running or jumping. Make use of the RICE formula: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
• Reconditioning: After resting the knee until the pain and swelling decreases, you may, in fact, need reconditioning to regain full range of movement, strength, power, endurance, speed, agility, and coordination. Your chiropractor may prescribe a physical exercise program to normalise the freedom and strength of thigh muscles or recommend cross-training exercises that emphasise stretching the lower extremities. Your chiropractor will also advise you on resuming running along with other athletic activities.
• Taping: Other nonsurgical treatments involve taping the kneecap, or similarly utilising a special brace for knee support during sports participation. Special shoe inserts (orthotics) may often be prescribed to help relieve the discomfort.