Runners Knee

Runners Knee

Runners Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (often referred to as “Runner’s Knee”) is a common overuse injury of the knee soft tissue causing pain, discomfort and/or inflammation about the patella (kneecap).

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome is characterised as an overuse injury rather than an impact condition. Normal daily tasks such as running, walking, climbing up and down stairs / hills, as well as squatting become painful with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. It typically occurs after a sudden increase in load, or use of your legs above and beyond your normal amount of activity. Although it has earned its colloquial title from the sport this injury is not limited to runners and can occur even with a sudden increase in walking or gym activities.

The pain develops typically due to an imbalance between the muscles of the hips and thighs which move the knee and kneecap, resulting in a shift in the direction the kneecap moves during bending and straightening of the knee. Usually your kneecap slides in a groove created between your thigh and shin bone at the knee joint with no issues. When it is “grumpy” due to a sudden change in your physical activity levels, the kneecap no longer slides smoothly causing pain and discomfort.

Symptoms of Runners Knee include:

– Pain or swelling about your kneecap which can extend to the sides or even back of your knee
– Pain when squatting, walking, running, jumping, navigating stairs and hills
– Stiffness/soreness when straightening and bending your knee
– Pain and/or stiffness/tightness in your thighs and hips

Symptoms usually occur only with the above movements, typically disappearing as quickly as they start. They can be acute or have a delayed onset and range from mild discomfort to severe pain and avoidance of function if not treated correctly.

Runners Knee Treatment

Practical treatments of Runners Knee include range of motion, flexibility and strengthening protocols for the surrounding muscles, including the gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps and calfs. Current research indicates that progressive, incremental strengthening regimes are an effective treatment tool for increasing pain free function and mitigating the progression of the condition.
Individuals who engage in active rehabilitation early are often able to return to function with minimal discomfort within 1-2 months. However, it is worth noting that pain may persist for some time afterwards. The current consensus for the best treatment method is a combination of exercise therapy, manual therapy, taping and foot orthotics. Surgery will not fix this condition. The general time taken to get better ranges from 2 weeks to 3-4 months depending on the case. So if you have knee cap pain then don’t wait and see contact US today and we will get you back on track.