Running can provide many benefits as it is a great way to beat stress and stay in shape. Unfortunately, if you run regularly, you also face a good chance of developing knee pain. For instance, in several studies examining injuries in marathon runner, knee injuries much common.
Knee Pain from Running.- Research has found that a condition called patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as “runner’s knee,” accounts for up to 25 percent of all injuries that develop in runners. This problem typically causes pain around or just behind your kneecap. Common signs of this kind of problems is that you’re likely to feel knee pain after you’ve been sitting down for a while with your knees bent, or when you run, squat, or climb stairs. The knee pain may feel dull or sharp. You may also notice a popping or clicking feeling in your knee.
At the knee joint, your thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia) come together. Your kneecap (the patella) is aligned in a groove at the bottom of your femur, and movement within this groove is referred to as patellar tracking. If your kneecap doesn’t move properly in this groove, as you bend and extend your leg while running, it may cause runner’s knee.
Risk Factors.- Specific factors that can contribute to runner’s knee include:
Other causes of knee pain in people who enjoy running include arthritis, damage to cartilage that normally allows the bones to glide freely in the joint, or irritation of tendons in the joint.
Prevention.- There are several ways to prevent runner’s knee, including shedding extra pounds to lessen the stress on your knees, increasing your running speed and distances gradually, and running on relatively soft surfaces when possible. Also be sure to stretch well before exercising and wear well-fitted, quality running shoes.
Rest and Rehab.- One of the most important steps you can take to treat runner’s knee is to simply take fewer steps. In other words, ease off the running. You may need to cut your mileage down or temporarily switch to another activity such as swimming or cycling. Elevating your leg and putting a cold pack on the joint for a short time after running may also reduce knee pain.
Rehabilitation is another large component of the treatment of runner’s knee. Studies have found that many people with runner’s knee eventually get relief from their symptoms simply by doing exercises to address the problem. Your physician or physical therapist can create a customized program of stretching and strengthening exercises specific to the cause of your runner’s knee.
Other common treatments include:
By taking some steps to prevent knee pain caused by running, you’ll be able to continue your workouts without a problem. If you have symptoms of runner’s knee, paying attention to your knee pain and taking care of it swiftly to avoid further injury are key to continuing to run.