What is Runners knee

Brunt Dana
4 min readMar 6, 2021

Do You Have Runner’s Knee? How to Recognize it, Symptoms and Physiotherapy

Patellofemoral pain, also known as runner’s knee is a frequent syndrome that makes you feel pain on the knee, behind the cap or patella and is due to excessive effort.

Mostly seen in runners but also pretty frequent in sportive people like bicycle riders and hikers. Runner’s Knee is completely curable in most cases with months of physiotherapy, but it can turn into a chronicle affliction if not handled properly.

Basic Facts about Runner’s Knee

Also called patellofemoral pain, rear knee pain, and, long ago, chondromalacia patellae.

It is quite usual, seen in 15% of athletes in some moment of their sportive career.

It is an affliction that appears progressively and get worse with time, not due to external damage.

Its is not the same as IT Band Syndrome, Tendinopathy, or Osgood Schlatters.

Almost all patients recover completely from Patellofemoral pain within 6 or 12 weeks of rehab.

Surgery is not recommended in most cases.

Symptoms & Recognition of Runner’s Knee

The most usual sign of Runner’s Knee is a hard pain in some part of the patella.

Many people notice this ache happens when running and can stay till the night or even the next morning. In worse cases, the pain persists steadily during the day, or coming up when doing domestic chores such as cleaning the house and going upstairs.

Usually no pain is reported when the patient rests or lies in bed, is sitting or stays still in one place.

Patients even report hearing crackles (crepitus) and knee numbness. The knee might also be swollen sometimes, but it should not be protruding or redden.

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Why do I have Runner’s Knee?

Runner’s Knee is an affliction affecting the kneecap caused by extreme and iterative exertion. In a few words, too much effort, in too short time, too often.

The main difference with other sport damages is that Runner’s Knee pain comes with no physical wound. Not because of broken bones, or tendon tearing or another tissue that suffered damage. That ache comes when the fat, bursa or synovial membranes that wrap the kneecap swell.

These membranes act as a juncture between the articulations and make it easier for the bones to move. When the articulations feel an excessive exertion, these membranes get overwhelmed and swell. The swelling works as an alarm for potential severe damage in the tissues and demand us to cut it off.

All tissues, either osseous, cartilaginous, fatty, muscular, or any other, has a determined limit of strain it can bear. Many factors like your habits and your age determine what is your stress limit — what you do with your body vs what your body needs. Pro sports people, of course, have a way higher forbearance to excessive physical exertion than people who spend their lives working in the office and eating snacks while watching tv, since they have a better condition to deal with excessive stress and exertion.

Stress affections such as Runner’s Knee happen when iterative and excessive strain concentrate on an articulation that was not developed to handle such levels of mistreatment.

Many people consider that feeling Runner’s Knee is just a warning they receive to reduce their exercise and more properly warm up their body to deal with weariness for a longer training.

Runner’s Knee is a stress affection due to excessive strain in a too short time. Your body is warning you that you are not prepared the distance you want to run.

An Usual Mistake

“The kneecap is not aligned”

One widely accepted mistake is that Runner’s Knee is due to kneecap ‘misalignment’. The concept that the patella gets ‘out of the axis’ and produces friction on the tibia..

Medical research has for decades assert that friction between bones caused the pain and weakened joints. But now we know that this is not exactly the true; Runner’s Knee is not caused by misalignment of the joints.

Kneecaps may have several sizes and forms, and there’s nothing wrong when it has to change position as we move. Now we know that this physical transition is not a disease seen in some people but a functional need for movement.

Recent medical assays show that people with ‘not the best’ alignment (who we would judge to be more prone to have Runner’s Knee) do not actually develop this affliction than those who have optimum knees.

Treatment Alternatives

(1) Physiotherapy Rehab

The best known cure for Runner’s Knee is physiotherapy. Fortify hip and knee tissue is tested to minimize pain and enhance movement, giving runners the chance to come back to habitual sports routine in 6 to12 weeks of rehab.

Recent researches assert that 73% of athletes who went through a course of physiotherapy suffered no pain for at least three year after the problem started.

A rehab therapy schedule focuses on hip and knee workout, and also hearth strengthening and equilibrium.

Workouts two or three days a week getting more complex little by little.

**Obtain an 8-Week Runner’s Knee Physiotherapy Schedule Here

(2) Foot Orthopedics

Some important research has proven foot orthopedics to be an efficient therapy to recover from Runner’s Knee.

(3) Tapes and Braces

Taping the knee and using braces will help you keep the pain under control when doing your exercises.

These therapies give some relief of pain on the knee. You can choose between one when you have soft Runner’s Knee and you want to go on with your running. Anyway, tapes and kneepads do not cure the cause of the affliction and only work on the short term.

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