Runner’s knee is an umbrella term used to describe a number of conditions which can cause pain behind and underneath the kneecap. These conditions include: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, Chondromalacia Patellae, Iliotibial Band Syndrome and Anterior Knee Pain Syndrome.
If you’re suffering from runner’s knee you will be getting pain around, behind or underneath the kneecap. You may also be experiencing increased friction in the knee – resulting in ‘clicking’ or ‘grinding’ of the kneecap.
Although commonly associated with runners, this condition can affect anyone and is sometimes referred to as Theatre-goers or Movie-goers Knee when the pain is caused by prolonged periods of sitting.
Runners suffering with this condition are likely to experience pain when the knee is in a flexed position with the foot planted – particularly when running downhill or walking downstairs.
Another tell-tale sign of this condition is pain and stiffness in the knee(s) after a prolonged period of sitting – such as at the cinema or theatre.
The pain caused by runner’s knee is due to the ‘mal-tracking’ or misalignment of the kneecap as it slides over the knee joint. This repetitive mal-tracking causes irritation of the underside of the kneecap which in turn leads to pain.
The good news is that, although this condition can be painful and irritating, it generally doesn’t involve any major or irreversible structural problem with the knee joint. The main cause of the problem is muscle weakness or imbalance in the hips and thighs which leads to the kneecap being pulled out of alignment.
Short-term management will aim to reduce pain levels and any associated inflammation. This could include hands-on treatment, ultrasound therapy, kinesio-taping, acupuncture and advice on reducing or modifying load to the knee in order to provide a window for strengthening and rehabilitation.
In the medium-to-long-term our management will largely consist of a graded exercise rehabilitation programme designed to strengthen and re-balance the muscles of the hips, low back and thigh which have caused the problem in the first place.
Our Osteopathy & Rehabilitation Therapy clinic covers areas including March, Ely, Wisbech, Huntingdon, St Ives & Whittlesey and beyond.
Contact us now to book a free 15-minute chat with an Osteopath to see if we could help with your knee problem.
Need help? Call us on 01354 694050 or book online here