What Is Runners Knee?
As stated in the name this injury is most commonly developed by people that complete running as a sport or hobby.
There are 2 main conditions we look at when describing Runners Knee.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Injury to the knee cap itself)
This often presents itself as a dull ache around the knee joint. Often pain is made worse through impact and compression of the knee cap. You will find running difficult especially when going up hills or stairs.
This damage often occurs due to overtraining and the impact of running overtime
ITB Syndrome (Pain on the outside of the knee)
The ITB muscle is a large band of tissue that runs along the outside of your leg. Often due to running biomechanics the ITB becomes extremely tight.
You will often feel the pain on the outside of the knee joint and it can be painful to touch. You will experience pain during running and going up/down stairs. Sometimes runners can experience tightness around the upper outside of the hip with this condition.
How Is Runners Knee Caused?
Both these problems associated with Runners Knee have the same causative factors.
- Overtraining – Not enough rest between runs or a sharp increase in training without appropriate preparation
- A lack of stretching – Running puts a lot of pressure on the leg muscles and is an extremely repetitive movement. This means you put a lot of load through the same areas on a continual basis. Overtime this leads to tightening of the muscles around the Hip and Knee.
- Incorrect footwear – If you are doing any form of running on a consistent basis please go to a professional footwear shop. They will analyse your foot and running technique to give you the correct shoe based on your body.
- Lots of road running – Continual running on hard surfaces like concrete does put a large amount of impact through the knee joint. Try to vary the surface you run on. Grass and Treadmills have decreased load compared to pavements and roads.
How Can I Treat Myself If I Think I Have Runners Knee?
Due to Runners Knee having a repetitive nature it Is important you get the injured corrected properly. If you have just started to get the symptoms you can try:
- Alter the form of cardio you complete – replace running with cycling or swimming. This puts less impact through the knee joint
- Ice around the painful areas 2x a day for 7-8 minutes
- Stretch the hip flexors, ITB & quadriceps muscles – We recommend the stretches below:
If the pain persists and you are unsure of what to do, please contact a professional sports injury specialist. They will advise you on the appropriate approach moving forwards.