Runners deal with a lot of aches and pains. Since we struggle with these problems too, we want to help runners with their injuries.
Runner’s knee is one of the most common running injuries, and is a broad term for several conditions such as iliotibial band syndrome, anterior knee pain syndrome, chondromalacia patella, and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
The result of all these conditions is severe pain around the kneecap.
As the term says, “Runner’s knee” is something that is commonly seen among runners, but it is not limited to them only. Any activity that causes stress on the knee joint will lead to this “Runner’s knee.”
Well, that’s a very simple explanation. Here is a little more elaborate one- Runner’s knee is primarily caused by misalignment and structural asymmetries of the lower leg or trauma to the kneecap. This compounds stress on the knee cap.
The intensities of the pain vary from being sharp to dull, and from being sudden, or slowly building. Regardless of how intense your lower leg pain is, it should being treated at the earliest possible moment so that it doesn’t get worse.
Here are few symptoms that you may notice when you are the victim of Runner’s knee:
1. Pain- Yes. Pain is the most common symptom that is observed in this condition, and it is something that should never be ignored. You may experience pain when you are walking, kneeling, or even sitting.
2. Swelling- Not always is the swelling, observed. This is something that you will witness when your “Runner’s knee” is left untreated, and this comes with severe consequences in the later stages due to advancement in the inflammation.
3. Popping and Grinding- Do you hear crack-y sounds in your legs when you walk, kneel or sit, with a dull pain? Better it get it treated before it gets worse, as this is one of the symptoms of “Runner’s knee.” This is also a sign that your legs are losing their flexibility.
Whatever, maybe the reasons for the Runner’s knee, you should know that it is not limited to the runners. You jump too much, or you are way too careless about your minor injuries; you will end up with a “Runner’s knee.”
So, what should you be doing to deal with this condition?
The answer is pretty simple. Take care of your legs. Standing for long hours, or even sitting for that matter, should be avoided, i.e., you should avoid any activity that makes your leg feel uncomfortable.
1. Temporary remedies- Elastic bands or patellar straps may help you, as these control the inflammation, and help your knee joint re-align themselves.
– Medications like ibuprofen, naproxen, etc., are opted by many. This remedy may give instant results, but these are temporary, and most the times dangerous too. Thus, you should opt for medications, only if your doctor asks you to do so.
– Elevating your legs with the help of pillows when you are sitting or lying will reduce the swelling and ease the pain. Most of the times, it is the swelling that will make your “Runner’s knee” condition, a nightmare, and in that case, this remedy is an excellent one.
– Icing – Icing will also reduce the swelling; but, this has to be done, repetitively, till the pain and swelling are gone. You will normally sense a lot of heat in the affected area in this condition, and icing is the best remedy for that.
2. Remedies that have long-lasting effects-
– Regular stretching exercises –
This is the best remedy and can treat the Runner’s knee effectively, and finally, help you get rid of it, forever.
But, for your stretching exercises, you should always have a doctor or a physiotherapist next to you; your stretching exercises, going wrong, and making your pain worse, is something that you don’t want…
Initially, stretching exercises may seem difficult, but in the later stages, it will ease the pain, swelling, and other symptoms of this condition.
– Massages –
Massages work just like the stretching exercises but are more soothing and relaxing. Massages will help your muscles breathe and help them get rid of the inflammation. Another thing that happens during the massages is that your brain releases the feel-good hormones, which will make you less receptive to the pain. Regular massages will improve the blood circulation throughout your legs, which will fight against all the symptoms of the Runner’s knee.
Whatever may be your remedies; it should all promote the realignment of your knee joints, and eventually, make them flexible.
The bottom note is to prevent the Runner’s knee, rather than ending up becoming a victim of it.
The simple preventive measures would be-
– The intensity of any workout should be increased gradually.
– Using right-sized running shoes is another thing that you should do.
– Right nutrition promotes excellent blood circulation. This will eventually help you prevent runner’s knee.