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Runner’s Knee

About Runner’s Knee

Avid runners aren’t the only ones who can develop runner’s knee. In fact, it’s a common problem among a good majority of the population due to a variety of factors. Before you can get treatment, however, you have to get a firm diagnosis. Then you can receive the appropriate runner’s knee treatment from a joint doctor with years of experience. The knee specialists at the Spine & Rehab Group know the right questions to ask and the right tests to run to determine that the cause of your pain is runner’s knee. Don’t hesitate to call for an appointment.

What Is Runner’s Knee?

Runner's knee

Runner’s knee, sometimes referred to as patellofemoral pain syndrome, causes pain around and under your kneecap, called the patella. This condition affects people across all ages, although it’s more common in active adults. Runner’s knee describes a broad range of symptoms in the front, or anterior, part of the knee. The pain may be caused by a variety of knee problems.

The patellofemoral joint is a critical component of your knee joint. Your kneecap sits on a saddle joint, allowing it to slide along the femur during knee movement. You use this joint when walking on an incline, climbing and multiple other knee movements. An injury to this joint can cause pain and mobility issues that stop you from doing everyday tasks.

Runner’s knee affects your movements and quality of life. The experienced team at the Spine & Rehab Group in New York City and northern New Jersey, led by board-certified, Harvard trained Dr. Amr Hosny, diagnose and treat a comprehensive range of back pain, spine problems, knee injuries, sports injuries and other painful conditions.

Does Runner’s Knees Affect Athletes Only?

The term runner’s knee implies this is a problem only for runners or athletes. But there are other causes of pressure on the patella that leads to pain, including:

  • Bone stress, causing lesions of the cartilage under the kneecap
  • Repeated exposure to patellofemoral pressure
  • Weak and unbalanced thigh muscles
  • Foot problems, including hypermobile feet and fallen arches
  • High-stress exercises, including lunges and plyometrics
  • A breakdown of the cartilage under your kneecap
  • Impact during exercises like running
  • Knee trauma from a direct hit on the kneecap
  • Malalignment of bones from the hips to your ankles
  • Sports that involve jumping, such as basketball

During your consultation, a joint doctor looks at your medical history and carries out tests to evaluate the condition of your knee. The report from these findings, in conjunction with a medical history and an understanding of your lifestyle, helps your physician determine how to fix your runner’s knee.

What Are the Risk Factors for Runner’s Knee?

Any exercises that lead to overuse of the knee joint increases your risk of runner’s knee. Runners are most at risk of developing the condition, which affects up to 15 percent of this category of athletes at some point in their running careers. Other risk factors include:

  • Certain anatomy or body types
  • Intense training
  • Overuse of the knee
  • Tight muscles, such as hamstrings, calves, quadriceps and the iliotibial band outside the thigh
  • Problems with kneecap alignment
  • Gender, as women have an increased risk of runner’s knee because of wider hips and different knee alignment
  • Underdeveloped thighs or hip muscles
  • Poor use of sports training equipment or improper sports training techniques
  • Changes in footwear
  • Obesity, resulting in excessive pressure on your knees
  • Playing sports on hard surfaces

If you’re at risk and you’ve experienced some nagging knee pain, it’s possible that you have runner’s knee. The pain doctors at the Spine & Rehab Group in NYC and NJ have the best equipment for a quick and correct diagnosis. If you have runner’s knee, they provide effective, non-surgical treatment.

Is My Knee Pain Due to Runner’s Knee?

Many people ignore knee pain or try home-based pain management remedies, but this may only exacerbate the knee damage. You may have runner’s knee if you experience symptoms that include:

  • Aching pain in and around the kneecap
  • Swelling, rubbing, grinding or clicking sounds coming from your kneecap
  • Kneecap is tender to the touch
  • Pain during movements or activities that require bending your knee
  • Pain after sitting for extended periods of time with your knees bent
  • Crackling or popping sounds in your knee when you stand up or climb stairs
  • Pain that worsens with changes in sports equipment, playing surface or training intensity

While these are signs of runner’s knee, the doctors at the Spine & Rehab Group recommend tests to rule out other knee injuries and conditions that cause knee pain, such as:

How Do Doctors Treat Runner’s Knee?

After a diagnosis, your doctor determines how to treat your runner’s knee. Some effective runner’s knee treatment options include:

  • Rest, ice, compression and knee elevation
  • Physical therapy exercises
  • Taping and bracing for runners in action
  • Over-the-counter pain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Special shoe inserts called orthotics to stabilize and align your foot and ankle
  • Surgical options as a last resort, such as arthroscopy

The team at the Spine & Rehab Group leverages the latest diagnostic tests and medical technology. They know how to heal runner’s knee. These doctors are specialists in spine and joint conditions that cause you pain. Contact the team today to get the best treatment for your painful knee. With three locations in New York City and five more across Bergen County, Morris County and Union County, New Jersey, you can find one near you.

Page Updated on Nov 17, 2021 by Dr. Hosny (Interventional Spine Specialist) of The Spine & Rehab Group
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