Runner's Knee Treatment
Runner’s knee is the nickname for a collection of problems called patella-femoral pain syndrome, which means pain felt over the front of the knee. The condition is almost exclusively an “overuse” syndrome.
Symptoms of Runner's Knee
The cardinal feature of Runner’s Knee will be pain at the front, or sometimes the sides or the back of the knee. It can come after running, but if you keep pushing through the pain it will often come on during the run itself. Stiffness after the run in and around the knee is common. If you are very tender over the top of the knee or below the kneecap it is suggestive of runner’s knee.
The front of the knee is loaded during running, as your foot strikes the ground and the quadriceps muscles activate to slow the movement of the leg down and then accelerate it as you take off again. The muscles have to be smooth in their timing and tension accumulation and release or they throw too much pressure on to the joint. For the joint, the natural friction breaks, like fluid in the joint, have to be able to disperse the load evenly across the joint otherwise pressure and eventually pain can build up.
Leg, hip, knee and foot biomechanical factors seem to have a small influence on knee pain development. These can be things like knock knees, bowlegs, poor or inappropriate shoes or a leg length difference. A larger influence is the strength in your knee muscles, especially your quads. Poor strength in these muscles as you begin running is associated with knee pain development. If you have a previous history of significant injury to your knee you’ll be at more risk of developing this if you take up an activity like running. Finally, if you are taking up running at an increased age, like 50 or more, you are more at risk of developing an overuse injury like this.
Runner's Knee and Osteopathy
An Osteopath will take a full history, put you through a thorough examination and then have a good look at all the features known to be potentially causative as mentioned previously. You’ll get some quality hands on therapy for symptom relief and then a guided exercise plan targeting what your weak areas are that will grade you back to your favourite activity.