Runner's Knee: Understanding and Managing Knee Pain
Runner's knee, also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome, is a common condition that causes pain around the kneecap. This pain can be caused by a variety of conditions including anterior knee pain syndrome, patellofemoral malalignment, and iliotibial band syndrome. These conditions are typically caused by activities that repeatedly stress the knee joint, such as running, walking, skiing, biking, jumping, cycling, and playing soccer.
The hallmark of runner's knee is a dull, aching pain around or behind the kneecap, especially where it meets the lower part of the thighbone (femur). This pain can be felt when walking, climbing or descending stairs, squatting, kneeling, running, sitting down or standing up, or sitting for a long time with the knee bent. Other symptoms of runner's knee may include swelling and popping or grinding in the knee. In the case of iliotibial band syndrome, the pain is most acute on the outside of the knee, where the iliotibial band, which runs from the hip to the lower leg, connects to the tibia (the thicker, inner bone of the lower leg).
Treatment for runner's knee may include rest, physical therapy, and pain management. In some cases, a doctor may suggest a brace or orthotics to support the knee and correct any underlying alignment issues. To prevent runner's knee, it's important to maintain a healthy weight, stretch and strengthen the muscles around the knee, and use proper technique when participating in physical activities.