Runner’s knee, which is also known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, is a condition that is characterized by an aching pain around the kneecap. Other symptoms of runner’s knee include pain that is felt when the knee is bent in activities like kneeling, sitting or squatting. Runner’s World also reports that some persons with this condition also experience a cracking sensation in the knee.
Causes of Runner’s Knee
Runner’s knee can be caused by overuse of the knee joint and direct trauma to it from falls and blows. Other causes of the Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome include misalignment of the kneecap and conditions like worn out knee cartilage, flat feet and weak thigh muscles.
According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, runner’s knee usually affects twice as many women as men because they tend to have wider hips which put the kneecap under more stress. In addition to runners, this condition also affects other athletes who engage in activities that require a lot of jumping and walking.
Diagnosis & Treatment
The diagnosis of runner’s knee is made after the doctor examines the joint. Radiological investigations like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans are also done.
University of California, San Francisco states that the treatment of runner’s knee depends on its specific cause. However, regardless of the cause the healing of this syndrome can be hastened by resting the knee and elevating it. Ice can also be applied to reduce pain and swelling. Elastic bandages and straps may also be worn on the knee to give it extra support.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen and naproxen are also taken to relieve knee pain and swelling. Some doctors also recommend exercises to stretch and strengthen the knee joint muscles. Severe cases of runner’s knee are usually treated surgically by orthopedic surgeons who perform operations to remove the damaged cartilage.
Written by: Marian Kim, FizzNiche Staff Writer