Pain in The Knee When Running

Pain in The Knee When Running

The words “runner’s knee” describes one of the various conditions that can cause discomfort around your kneecap. The most prominent among these are “anterior knee pain syndrome”, “chondromalacia patella”, “patellofemoral malalignment”, and “iliotibial band syndrome”. As the name would suggest, running is one of the most common causes of these conditions. However, such a disorder can also transpire when you put constant stress on your knee joint. This includes involving actions such as:

  • walking
  • jumping
  • skiing
  • pedaling
  • biking 
  • playing soccer      

Harvard Medical School states that runner’s knee is found more among females than in males.

This is mostly true of women who are in their mid-30s-40s. If you are overweight, you could suffer from this problem as well. 

Symptoms of Knee Pain:

The most easily identifiable sign of this particular condition is pain around or behind the kneecap. It can happen in the patella region as well. This is especially at the meeting point of the femur or the lower part of the thighbone. In these cases, you can feel pain when you perform the following activities:

  • walking
  • running
  • descending or climbing stairs
  • standing up or sitting down
  • squatting
  • sitting for an extended period with bent knees
  • kneeling

You also have other symptoms in these cases such as inflammation, crushing, and popping of the knee. In case of iliotibial band syndrome you would experience the severest pain on the outer parts of your knees.

Knee Pain Causes:

The pain that you experience is primarily due to the irritation in the lining of your knee and the surrounding soft tissues. At times, your cartilage could get torn or inflamed, or your tendons could get stressed as well. Below are some other principal reasons for developing runner’s knee:

  • overuse
  • tight or feeble thigh muscles
  • kneecap shock
  • insufficient stretching prior to workout
  • kneecap misalignment
  • arthritis
  • fractional or full displacement of kneecap
  • kneecap fracture
  • flat feet
  • synovial plica syndrome or plica syndrome – here the lining of your joint is inflamed and thickened

Diagnosis of Knee Pain:

Your specialist will likely ask for your medical reports and about your medical history. Your medical history would help the doctor to execute a detailed physical checkup to confirm if you are indeed suffering from runner’s knee or not. The assessments could include blood examinations, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan, X-rays, and CT (computed tomography) scan.

Knee Pain Treatment:

Your knee doctor would suggest an appropriate treatment. In a majority of cases, patients do not undergo surgery. In the initial stage of treatment, you normally need to practice what is known as “RICE (relaxation, ice, compression, and elevation)”. If you are seeking respite from pain, your doctor can consider prescribing anti-inflammatory pills like aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. You can be prescribed acetaminophen, which is considered as an active component in Tylenol.   There are several ways to prevent this condition like staying fit and healthy, using the correct pair of running shoes, stretching, using the right form for running, and increasing your physical training gradually.


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