Runner’s knee also referred to as patellofemoral pain syndrome, is one of the commonest injuries among athletes today and attributes to over 42 % of all injuries among athletes. The knee cap or the patella is a small cap like bone which is located above the knee joint and protects it.
The runner’s knee is characterized by constant irritation of the femoral groove by the knee cap which is often attributed to misplacement or dislocation of the knee cap. Since the patella is a bone which can be easily displaced or injured due to its position, the condition is fairly common among athletes.
Physical therapy and simple treatment options are available for the management of the condition.
What Are The Causes Of Runners Knee?
Estimates suggest that runner’s knee is more common in women compared to men due to the wider structure of the hips, which can result in angling problems, resulting in runner’s knee. Some of the common factors responsible for runner’s knee include,
- Dislocation of the patella or the knee cap, either due to an injury or overuse.
- Degeneration of the cartilage which in turn may result in limited shock absorption, which in turn may cause irritation of the knee joint.
- Flat feet or high arched feet can also result in problems associated with runner’s knee.
- Imbalance between the calf and hamstrings muscles on one hand and quadriceps on the other can also be a cause for the condition.
- Running on uneven surfaces can also cause the problem.
Runners Knee Symptoms
The common symptoms associated with runner knee include the following,
- Tenderness around the knee cap or the patella often towards the center of the joint.
- Pain is often observed on the posterior aspect of the knee joint.
- A constant sensation of cracking in the knee joint. Often the condition may be associated with mild swelling and inflammation around the knee cap.
- Walking or running on uneven ground, climbing steps or a hill is often associated with pain.
Natural Remedies For Runner’s Knee Pain
Here are some simple tips that can be beneficial in the prevention and management of runner’s knee problem,
- Avoid running on uneven and hard surfaces. Instead, run on softer surface like grass. Avoid running too fast, and gradually increase the mileage of the run by 10 % every week.
- Ensure that your shoes fit right. Special shoes for athletes are very important to reduce the frequency and severity of knee injuries.
- Regularly exercise your quadriceps and hamstrings. Strengthening your quadriceps and hamstrings can be beneficial as they reduce the impact on the knee joint and also reduce the inequalities in muscle pull.
- Homeopathic drugs like Bryonia Alba are considered very beneficial in the management of runner’s knee. Bryonia can help reduce the edema and swelling and also improve the range of motion of the knee joint.
- Local application of clove oil is also considered beneficial in relieving pain and swelling at the site.
- Rest is often a crucial component of the treatment regimen, which allows the injury to heal.
- Visit your Orthopaedician. It is always recommended that you take a second opinion from a qualified professional. In case of displacement, the surgeon my help relocate the joint with external manipulation.
- Ensure a healthy and well balanced diet. Increase the intake of calcium and magnesium which are essential to enhance bone and tendon health.