It is that time of year when there a lot of fun runs, trail runs endurance events on the calender, so we thought we would share some insights into runners knee or patellofemoral pain syndrome. Runner’s knee is the most common injury among runners accounting for roughly 20 percent of all running injuries and is twice as common in women as it is in men.
Over time various theories have been developed about the nature of the problem and the underlying structural causes. Despite this, when the joint has been examined by MRI or surgical arthroscope, no obvious and consistent abnormality has been associated with runners knee.
The main symptom is pain below either one or both kneecaps. Unlike iliotibial band syndrome (IT band syndrome) which occurs in the side of the knee, runners knee is felt on the front and middle of the knee.
Symptoms can include tenderness around the patella that often starts out as mild but may become progressively more intense as a result of exercise.
It is difficult to isolate a singular cause of runners knee as research has found no direct links between consistent structural problems and the condition. For some of us, the repetitive force and shock on the knees from a normal running stride is enough to provoke the condition.
Many physicians have said that flat feet, high arched feet or crooked knees can put excessive amounts of pressure on the patella thus being more likely to cause this problem.
In terms of specific muscle groups, those with weak quadriceps are more likely to experience runners knee as well as those with tight hips and hamstrings. Based on this, many specialists say that it is critical to find the source of the tension or tightness that is causing the problem in order to move forward.
As symptoms often occur as a result of high pressure on the knee, it is recommended in order to reduce pain that runners exercise on softer surfaces such as grass or sand. It is often seen that hills, steps or uneven terrain can aggravate runners knee so this should also be avoided.
As genetic problems such as flat or high arched feet can provoke runners knee, it is recommended that runners visit specialty running stores to get expert advice on footwear. This will ensure that the right shoes are worn for the right condition.
Even if you’ve never experienced runners knee, it is still beneficial to take the necessary precautions for prevention such as regular stretching and buying the right shoes.
If you do start to experience any symptoms or are unsure, it is always important that you see your practitioner before the problem turns into an injury. All Of our practitioners are well versed in the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of Runners knee.