What is runner's knee?
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Runner's knee means that you have dull pain around the front of the knee (patella). This is where the knee connects with the lower end of the thighbone (femur).
What causes runner's knee?
Runner's knee may be caused by a structural defect, or a certain way of walking or running. Other causes may include:
A kneecap that is too high in the knee joint
Weak thigh muscles
Tight Achilles tendons
Poor foot support
Walking or running with the feet rolling in while the thigh muscles pull the kneecap outward
Excessive training or overuse
What are the symptoms of runner's knee?
These are the most common symptoms of runner's knee:
Pain in and around the kneecap that happens when you are active. Or pain after sitting for a long time with the knees bent. This sometimes causes weakness or feelings of instability.
Rubbing, grinding, or clicking sound of the kneecap that you hear when you bend and straighten your knee
Kneecap that is tender to the touch
The symptoms of runner's knee may look like other conditions and health problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How is runner's knee diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider can diagnose runner's knee by looking at your health history and doing a physical exam. X-rays may be needed for evaluation of the knee.
How is runner’s knee treated?
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
How old you are
Your overall health and health history
How much pain you have
How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
How long the condition is expected to last
Your opinion or preference
The best course of treatment for runner's knee is to stop running until you can run again without pain. Other treatment may include:
Can runner’s knee be prevented?
Preventing runner’s knee includes not overstressing your knees. You can do this by:
Losing weight if needed
Stretching before running
Increasing your activities gradually
Wearing good running shoes
Running leaning forward with your knees bent
Key points about runner's knee
Runner's knee is dull pain around the front of the knee.
It may be caused by a structural defect, or a certain way of walking or running.
Symptoms include pain, and rubbing, grinding, or clicking sound of the kneecap.
Treatment includes not running until pain goes away. Also using cold packs, compression, and elevation may help. Medicine such as ibuprofen can lessen pain and reduce inflammation. Stretching and strengthening exercises can help prevent runner’s knee.