Are you an avid runner who is experiencing chronic knee pain? If so, you may be dealing with patellofemoral pain syndrome. If this sounds like a foreign fossil name, how does runner’s knee sound? Pronunciation wise, I’m sure better, medically speaking, no better. Patellafemoral pain syndrome is the scientific name for a common complaint amongst the running community. They call it runner’s knee because quite frankly its not exactly a condition in itself. It sums up a multitude of knee disorders with different causes all centering around the kneecap.
But, the funny thing is about runner’s knee,which is much like golfer’s knee – although found in runner’s, the condition, as we will call it, doesn’t not only occur in runners. You are at risk for runner’s knee if you participate in any activity that requires a significant amount of bending at the knee’s, such as biking, jumping, or even walking.
Even if you consider yourself the perfect role model of an athlete who stretches daily and strength trains accordingly, you are still at risk for developing runner’s knee for various other reasons like direct trauma from an accident to the knee, or overuse. Continuously and repetitively bending can irritate the nerves in your kneecap. Something that is seemingly easy on the body, like bending down and picking up a baby constantly throughout the day, can put insurmountable pressure on the kneecaps, causing tendons to overstretch and cause pain.
Also, if any of your bones are even the slightest out of alignment, your body weight will not be evenly distributed through your body causing a lot of pain, and damage to your kneecaps and surrounding muscle and tendons.
Those who suffer from flat foot also run a high risk of developing this so called runners knee, mostly because the impact from running with no arch support creates an uncomfortable situation for the muscles and tendons down there.
As silly as this may sound, having weak thigh muscles also puts you at significant risk for knee disorders. The muscles in your legs are the foundation and support of your bone structure. If they are not strong, they cannot help support and distribute your weight evenly across your kneecaps, leaving they at risk for several conditions.
Although runner’s knee can be classified as several different knee disorders, the symptoms are generally the same. Here are a few to be watchful of:
1) pain around the kneecap
2) pain when you bend your knee to squat, kneel, run or sit
3) pain when going up or down stairs or a hill
4) swelling around the kneecap
5) popping or grinding in the knee
Experiencing knee pain is stating the obvious that there is a problem, but when you encounter swelling and/or popping and grinding, it is important to see a doctor immediately. There are a lot of issues you could be experiencing, so getting medical advice will be the fastest way to pain and discomfort relief.
Come back Wednesday to discuss treatment for runner’s knee and ways to prevent any type of knee injury or condition.