Runners knee, also called patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), is commonly found in runners. It presents as pain around the kneecap or patella where it connects to the femur (the lower end of the thigh bone). Due to the difference in anatomy, it afflicts twice as many women as it does men.
What are the symptoms of runners knee?
Runners knee usually causes tenderness behind or around the kneecap. This pain is typically felt during physical activity but it can also appear after prolonged periods of sitting with knees bent. Sometimes runners knee can cause you to feel like your knees are giving out, making you feel weak or unstable when standing. Other symptoms can also include pain at the back of the knee, a feeling of cracking when the knee bends or a kneecap that is tender to the touch.
What are the causes of runners knee?
There are many potential causes of runners knee. Structural problems such as a kneecap that sits too high in the knee joint can be a cause. Tight hamstring and calf muscles which put extra pressure on the knee are also causes. If you have worn cartilage or high-arched feet and do not wear the proper foot support while running, this can also contribute to pain in the patella. Sometimes this condition can result from excessive training. This includes overuse, sports injuries or simply the repetition of force from your regular running stride.
What is the treatment for runners knee?
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause on your own. Sometimes the symptoms of runners knee can resemble other conditions. If you are experiencing any prolonged discomfort in your kneecap, refrain from running. You should also seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and sports injury treatment. Our sports medicine doctor at Spinal Rehab Sports Medicine clinic can help. Dr. Bob Meyer, has over 21 years of experience working in sports medicine and treating patients with chronic pain. He can get you on the road to recovery fast.