This week’s article is a topic requested by many of you: Knee pain.
Runner’s Knee is a term used to describe any condition that causes pain around the knee and the kneecap.
As the title suggests it, running is a common cause of runner’s knee, but any activity that has repetitive stress on the knee can cause the same disorder : this can include walking, skiing, biking, jumping, cycling and playing football.
In this article you will know more about the Runner’s Knee; its symptoms, the causes, how to diagnose it, the treatments and most importantly the preventions.
– The Symptoms:
Aching pain around the knee and the kneecap; other symptoms include swelling and popping or grinding in the knee.
You may feel pain when: walking, climbing or descending stairs, squatting, kneeling, running, sitting down or standing up, sitting for a long time with the knee bent.
– The Causes:
The pain of runner’s knee is caused by the irritation of soft tissues or lining of the knee or turned cartilage or strained tendons. The causes can be any of the following:
– misalignment of the kneecap
– complete or partial dislocation of the kneecap
– flat feet
– weak or tight thigh muscles
– inflammation of the joint
– a fractured kneecap
– not stretching before a workout
– The Diagnosis:
To confirm the diagnosis of a runner’s knee, check with your doctor.
– The Treatments:
Your doctor will give you the right prescription. But the first steps to do is RICE.
Rest: Avoid repetitive stress on the knee
Ice: To avoid any swelling and reduce the pain, apply an ice pack or a package of frozen peas on your knee for 30 mins.
Compression: wrap your knee with an elastic band or wear a knee support. It shouldn’t be too tight though.
Elevation: Keep your feet elevated while you are sitting or sleeping. Place a pillow under it and let the blood circulate.
After a long run, or a though workout I personally do apply the RICE methods even though I don’t suffer from Runner’s knee.
– The Preventions:
Let’s talk preventions to avoid Runner’s Knee:
– Stay in shape: make sure your overall health and conditioning are good.
– Stretch: start your workout with a 5 min warm up and end it with a 5 min stretching exercises.
– Gradually increase your training: specially for beginners, don’t over train. Take it slow, easy and keep on adding up gradually. If you discovered long runs, add your mileage gradually and approximatively 10% of your latest distance. You will get there, just give it the proper time it needs!
– Use proper running shoes: I cannot stress enough about this matter. This is the first and most common mistake that leads to a knee pain or runner’s knee : bad running shoes!
You can check the article where I address this : How to pick your perfect running shoes.
Running with the right shoes will not only prevent injuries but also make your running experience way better.
– Maintain a good running form: Posture and form, it’s all about keeping your core tight, shoulders relaxed and body straight. Don’t lean too far forward or backward: imagine you are being pulled with a string from the top of your head.
While you are running keep on scanning you body from head to toes to make sure you are maintaining a good form.
Even if you do not suffer from any knee pain or injuries, I do recommend you to stay on the safe side and apply the preventions listed above. Those are the basics to any trainings; start by learning and implementing the right habits and you will be avoiding bad running/training experiences.
Don’t underestimate this, learn how to train smart to become a better runner : it all starts with preventing injuries.
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Happy Running Week!