Take Care of Runner’s Knee and Get Your Body Moving Again
Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also referred to as runner’s knee or jumper’s knee, generally describes pain in, around, and in front of the kneecap. While this pain can happen to anyone, it generally affects athletes who depend on their knees to run, jump, and play sports.
How do you treat an injury that is broadly defined by knee pain? First, you have to dig a little deeper to understand the key anatomical features of this joint. Rothman Orthopaedic Institute has the information you need about runner’s knee treatment in Montvale. With this insight, you’ll be able to contribute to your own healing process and keep your knees healthy in the future.
Runner’s Knee: Anatomy and Causes
Structurally, your knee joint is composed of three bones: the lower end of the femur (thighbone), the upper end of the tibia (shinbone), and the patella (kneecap). There are four ligaments (two collateral, two cruciate) that stabilize the joint and bones. Muscles in the knee are connected to the bones by tendons. And, articular cartilage in the joint both protects other components and enables smooth, easy movements to take place.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome impacts the nerves within the soft tissues and bones around the kneecap. Another knee condition that may occur simultaneously is chondromalacia patella, which refers to the breakdown of the articular cartilage beneath the kneecap. This doesn’t directly cause pain, but the softening of this cartilage can cause inflammation that leads to discomfort.
What else causes runner’s knee? It is commonly defined as an overuse injury, forming after repeated instances of vigorous physical activity. While, true to its name, this injury affects runners, it can also impact anyone who repeatedly climbs stairs, squats, or suddenly increases their activity routine. Improper exercise techniques can also cause patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Another common reason this injury happens is the misalignment of the patella. When the kneecap becomes pushed to one side of the groove, the positions creates an increase of pressure between the back of the patella and trochlea. This irritates the surrounding soft tissues. An orthopaedic physician can determine if your kneecap is positioned properly.
Five Non-operative Runner’s Knee Treatments in Montvale
The doctors at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute always attempt to alleviate patients’ symptoms using non-surgical treatment methods first. In many cases, patellofemoral pain syndrome will improve on its own. Still, there are safe and simple ways you can speed up the recovery process. Below are five ways to address the pain of runner’s knee that an orthopaedic specialist may suggest.
Modify your activity level and routine.
As previously mentioned, runner’s knee is an overuse injury. Taking time to rest your knees will relieve your joint pressure and pain.
Implement the R.I.C.E. protocol.
By resting, icing the joint, compressing the area with a bandage, and elevating your leg while you rest, you can alleviate some of your early injury symptoms.
Add physical therapy exercises to your routine.
Strengthen the muscles surrounding your kneecap can keep the joint strong in the future. Your doctor may recommend seeing a physical therapist for professional guidance on which exercises to implement.
Take medications for pain.
Certain medications to ease pain can contribute to your recovery process. Your knee specialist may recommend over-the-counter medications or prescribe you something.
Shoe inserts function to stabilize your foot and ankle as you stand and walk. Ask your doctor whether you should look into custom-made orthotics or over-the-counter ones from a store.
Prevent Additional Pain
Runner’s knee tends to improve either on its own or by implementing the above care methods. Yet your efforts to stay healthy shouldn’t stop there. Below are some knee injury prevention techniques for athletes. These tips can boost your workouts and keep you safe as you run and perform activities.
Stretch before and after a run or workout.
Increase your training or intensity-level at a gradual pace.
Mix up your workouts to reduce the amount of pressure you place on the same joints.
Wear appropriate (and not too worn) shoes while you work out.
To schedule an appointment for runner’s knee treatment in Montvale, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.