Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee, will bring one’s training to an immediate halt with ongoing pain every time that pressure is put on the leg. Many will even find themselves struggling with pain while laying or sitting, and this is why it is important to take a proactive stance about treating runner’s knee and preventing further issues. Here is a look at five to get back to running after chronic pain has developed.
Any time that there is pain around the knee, runners should stop what they are doing immediately. This does not mean that they should end their training, however, and it is important to keep one’s body as healthy as possible to bring tissue back to its homeostasis of properly breaking down and regenerating. Runners should also adopt low impact exercises such as swimming or riding a bike as quickly as their injury allows.
Strengthen the Quads and Hips
One of the most common causes of runner’s knee is the underdevelopment of quadricep and hip muscles. Many avid runners will avoid strength training due to a comprehensive running program, but this can do more damage than good in the long run. At least one or two days a week should be dedicated to strength training one’s hips and quads including mild training during recovery.
Shoes and Shoe Inserts
Over-pronation, or a slight bending of the feet while walking or running, can lead to a serious imbalance that could damage the patella over time. One way to combat this is to try different shoes and shoe inserts that will help bring the foot back to proper alignment. This is an especially important step for those with much higher or lower arches on their feet.
Supplements for Bone Strength
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two of the most popular over-the-counter supplements for bone strength including the knees. Both of these substances are naturally produced by the body, but those undergoing extreme amounts of stress from training can damage cartilage quicker than it can repair itself. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can help the body to repair and protect the cartilage more efficiently.
Compression clothing and wraps such as KT tape have been scientifically proven to increase knee and leg power. The primary mechanism at play is reducing vibrations to the knee and increasing proprioception or neuromuscular feedback which facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons. It acts as an external support that allows activity while recovering from injuries.
All serious runners should have their body mechanics inspected by a specialist at some point in their training, especially when experiencing discomfort. This is typically carried out by simply filming the runner during flat and graded runs to look for any issues such as leaning improperly, poor movement with the arms, or an imbalanced gait.
The pain that comes as a result of runner’s knee can often be avoided altogether by implementing a few practices into one’s training regimen. Those experiencing chronic knee pain after 2 months of intensive home-based treatment should seek out a doctor to explore any underlying issues.
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