Running is a great way to keep fit and healthy, but it can also be hard on your knees. If you don’t maintain proper form or overdo it, you may end up with runner’s knee, a common injury that affects many joggers, runners, and other athletes.
Fortunately, a PT clinic can help you recover from runner’s knee and prevent it from coming back. In this article, we’ll share some useful tips and insights from physical therapists on how to manage and treat runner’s knee, so you can get back on track and enjoy your favorite activities without pain or discomfort.
Understand the Risks
Running and jogging can be great exercises, but they can also lead to injuries if not done correctly. Runner’s knee is a common injury that can occur due to overuse or improper form. As a physical therapy specialist like our friends at AmeriWell Clinics can explain, it’s important to maintain proper form, which includes keeping your core tight, avoiding leaning, and keeping your knees bent. Choose a soft and smooth surface to run on, and make sure to wear proper running shoes with plenty of shock absorption.
Know the Symptoms
Runner’s knee is a catch-all term for various knee conditions that come from running, typically presenting as dull, aching pain around the kneecap, specifically where it connects to the femur. The pain may be accompanied by swelling or popping in the knee. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of runner’s knee early on to avoid further damage and seek treatment promptly.
Seek Professional Help
If you’re experiencing knee pain or suspect you have runner’s knee, it’s important to seek help from a physical therapist or knee pain specialist. They can provide you with a thorough assessment and create a personalized treatment plan for you. Treatment may involve rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE), anti-inflammatory medication, and specific exercises to help restore range of motion.
Prevention is Key
Preventing runner’s knee involves staying in shape, gradually increasing your training over time, and stretching. Proper stretching is essential to prevent runner’s knee. It’s important to focus on stretches that mimic your workout, as this prepares the muscle groups you’ll be targeting. Static stretches are not as helpful as we once thought.
Certain demographics are more at risk of developing runner’s knee. Women are more likely to experience runner’s knee than men. Overweight people are more at risk, as is anyone who participates in a sport that requires a lot of jumping, sprinting, or squatting.
In addition to RICE and stretching, your recover plan can also include manual therapy and techniques such as ultrasound or cold laser therapy. Manual therapy involves hands-on techniques to mobilize and manipulate soft tissue and joints. This can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Runner’s knee can be a debilitating injury that can put a stop to your running routine. However, with proper care and attention, it can be prevented and treated. Seek help from a PT specialist if you’re experiencing knee pain or suspect you have runner’s knee. They can help you get back on track and prevent further injury. Remember, prevention is key, so make sure to stay in shape, gradually increase your training, and stretch properly.
Unfortunately, another risk that runners face is injuries from pedestrian accidents. If you are injured in an accident, a physical therapist can help you recover with a personalized treatment program.