Runner’s Knee: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
If your knees are sore and swollen, particularly if you live an active lifestyle, you might have developed a condition called runner’s knee. This condition affects many people, and can make it painful to walk and bend the knee.
What causes runner’s knee?
As its name suggests, runner’s knee is common among runners—but that doesn’t mean they’re the only people who can develop this condition. Runner’s knee can develop when the joint becomes irritated by repeated exercises like running, biking, walking, and bending, or when the knee sustains an injury from a blow or a fall.
Problems with the feet can also lead to runner’s knee. Feet that are hypermobile (meaning the joints move too much), flat, or have fallen arches may cause the condition. Similarly, malalignment in the bones and tight or weak quadricep muscles put pressure on the knees and may cause them to turn in or out, leading to runner’s knee.
What are the symptoms of runner’s knee?
People with runner’s knee may experience pain in front of, behind, and around the kneecap. This pain usually accompanies walking, going up or down stairs and hills, squatting, running, kneeling, or doing any other action that requires the knee to bend. Some people also experience swelling, tenderness, and a popping, cracking, or grinding sensation in and around the knee joint.
If you think you may have runner’s knee, speak to your doctor. Ignoring the condition can cause it to become worse.
Treating runner’s knee
The first step in treating runner’s knee is allowing the knee to rest. If you run, cut back on the distance and strenuousness of your workout. While you can’t avoid bending your knee altogether, stay away from any activities that require you to bend your knees often, such as squats.
Try putting ice on your knee every three to four hours for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, until the pain subsides. You may want to wrap your knee for extra support, and put your leg up on a pillow when you sit or lie down.
Medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen may help reduce the swelling and pain. If you’re on other medication, speak to your doctor before taking any drugs for your knee pain. Gentle stretches for the quadricep muscles may also help, and consider getting orthotics or arch support to help reposition your feet and ease pressure off of your knees.
Runner’s knee often stems from other issues like muscular imbalance, joint dislocation, or a fracture. At Stem Cell Therapy, we specialize in using alternative, safe, and minimally-invasive treatments to restore the body to health and relieve pain in the joints. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy can help with your runner’s knee.