As we spring forward into a new season and are blessed with beautiful weather and extended daylight, many of us may use this opportunity to get out of the house a resume running. While running can be a great form of exercise, it can also lead to a myriad of overuse injuries, the most common of which we will speak about today…Runner’s knee ☹
Runners knee also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome or anterior knee syndrome accounts for roughly 20 percent of all running injuries. The problem with and most frustrating thing about runner’s knee is that typically there is no obvious structural abnormality/pathology associated with it. Typically a runner will experience irritation of the tissues between the kneecap and the femur. This discomfort is often made worse by sitting for long periods, like when watching a movie, running and going up or down stairs.
Now that we know what we are dealing with, here are three reasons why you may have gotten runners knee and three tips for home care to help yourself through this trying time and get you back out on the road where you are meant to be!
Why did this happen?
- Weakness in the hip abductors and external rotators is often seen in runner’s sufferers. In runners whose hip stabilizers are weak, the thigh tends to rotate internally as the foot comes in contact with the ground.
- Weakness of the medial quadriceps or VMO can cause patellar tracking dysfunction which can irritate and inflame the knee.
- Take it down a notch ya big goof! If you can run some distance pain free than that is wonderful. If running egregious amounts causes pain, take it down a bit and ween yourself to a more moderate distance until you are recovered enough to ramp it back up.
How can I help myself?
- Where there is pain there is almost always inflammation! Eat foods which are anti-inflammatory; tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy veggies, nuts, fatty fish, cherries etc
- Ice massage can do wonders for inflammation in the knee; freeze a paper cup of water, peel off the top few inches a massage the painful area in a circular motion for a period of time until the area goes from a cold sensation through aching and becomes numb. This should take about 4 mins and will decrease inflammation/pain dramatically
- Kinesiotaping can tremendously reduce stress and stabilize the patella to ensure a better recovery and protect you from further damage. See our awesome video on how to self-tape the patella for runners knee 😀
- Bonus— see video for how to easily strengthen your VMO and Hip abductors
Now we know what we have, how it happened and how to help ourselves. Of course, speak to your local wellness professional to do an exam and ensure that they can help and that you don’t have a more serious pathology. Your local qualified Chiropractor or PT should be able to work wonders. Go out and crush it, you deserve optimal health!
Yours in health,
Dr. Jordan H Kaplan
Check out our Youtube channel for more helpful videos: