Runners Knee or rather patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), is a commonly experienced running injury. This painful condition is caused by irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the patella (kneecap). Around 40% of running injuries are reported to be knee related.
Runners knee can flare up during or after long runs and after extended periods of sitting, or going up/down stairs.
Risk factors include: rolling the ankle or uneven distribution of weight on the foot, weakness in quadriceps, hips or glutes. This can lead to the patella (knee joint) tracking poorly, which will continue to aggravate & create pain.
If you think you may have Runners Knee you should reduce mileage & take a few rest days. Uphill running can be less painful so an alternative could be incline running on a treadmill which has the benefit of also working the gluteal muscles. Avoid downhill running & cross train with cycling, specific quadricep strengthening, elliptical trainer & swimming. Try to shorten your stride & increase your cadence/tempo. Try landing with a slightly bent knee as this can take as much as 30% load off the knee joint.
Good strength in the gluteals helps control hip & thigh movement which prevents knee valgus (knee dropping in/inverting). Improve knee tracking with lateral band walks, squats & hip flexor stretches. Icing is recommended for pain relief.
WHEN TO STOP RUNNING – If you experience pain on the inside or outside the knee on waking which does not lessen during the day. See your sports therapist within the next few days.
CAUTION – Twinges early during a run which go, but then come back afterwards and are aggravated by prolonged sitting. Advice is to cross train and reduced mileage. Mention it at your next appointment with your sports therapist.
GO – Pain free after prolonged sitting and after hilly, long run.
If you think you have Runners Knee and would like to discuss it with one of our team you can book and appointment HERE.
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