Runners knee, also called patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), is most 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). This condition can affect one or both of the knees and 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. Sometimes this condition is caused by a structural problem such as a kneecap that sits too high in the knee joint. It can also be caused by tight hamstring and calf muscles which put additional pressure on the knee. 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, 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 and sometimes the symptoms of runners knee can resemble other conditions. If you are experiencing any prolonged discomfort in your kneecap, refrain from running and seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and sports injury treatment. Here at Spinal Rehab and Sports Medicine clinic, our sports medicine doctor, 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.