Running has several health benefits including weight loss and cardiovascular condition. But there are also risks of injury, especially to the knee. One of the most common injuries caused by running is Runner's Knee.
It is a common condition among runners, but can also afflict people who do a lot of walking, jumping, biking and bending of the knee on a consistent basis. The main symptom is aching pain around the kneecap.
The problem is not a specific condition, rather, it is a collection of a number of problems with the knee caused by running or similar activities. It's really a disorder that has several different symptoms and causes. The problem can occur from:
Overuse – This is the main reason the problem occurs. People who put in a lot of mileage running event put too much strain on the knee causing it to become injured. Irritated tendons, swelling, and inflammation are common symptoms of the problem caused by overuse.
Acute Injury – It is rare, but trauma from a specific incident can cause runner's knee. A fall or blow to the knee may be the cause.
Misaligned Knee – The problem may also occur if there is a slight misalignment in the knee. This causes weight and stress to be unevenly and incorrectly distributed throughout the knee area initially leading to pain and other serious conditions. Certain tendons may see too much stress such as the IT band, or the patella may slightly dislocate from time to time termed “subluxation”.
Foot Issues – Foot and knee injuries are often interrelated. People with flat feet often get runner's knee as a result of their lack of a natural arch. The collapse of the arch causes tendons and ligaments to become stretched or even torn.
As previously stated, runner's knee is a mosaic of knee problems that can lead to a wide variety of symptoms. The most common runner's knee symptoms include:
· Pain centered on the kneecap. It may emanate from behind or around the kneecap. The most common location is where the height and knee connect.
· Pain caused by bending the knee. Squatting, walking, running and even sitting may cause pain.
· Increased pain caused when walking on an incline or decline – often walking up and down stairs.
· Hearing and feeling popping or grinding noises and sensations in the knee.
Runner's knee is treated using several different methods depending on the severity. Much of the treatment includes resting, icing the knee, compression, anti-inflammatory drugs, and in some cases surgery to clear out damaged cartilage.