Runner’s Knee: What is it and what can you do?

What is it?

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Runner’s Knee isn’t a pathology itself but rather a vague term to describe a number of conditions that plague runners, cyclists, skiers, soccer players etc. Runner’s knee typically refers to one of the following conditions: infrapatellar tendonosis, patellofemoral pain syndrome and chondromalacia patella.

Symptoms often consist of pain while running hills or stair training, poorly localized pain around the knee, RARE swelling, typically gradual onset and “movie sign”, increased pain after prolonged sitting with knee flexed, relieved by straightening leg.

What causes it?

Overuse/over-training: Repeated high intensity bending of the knee can irritate the muscles, nerves and ligaments surrounding the knee.

Direct trauma: I don’t think I need to say much here.medium_6195200272

Misalignment: From the waist down there are several areas in which excessive stress can be placed on the knee due to misaligned bones/joints. This is not just a theory in the chiropractic profession; take a look atWebMDs article on runner’s knee.

Muscle imbalances: For several different reasons we develop asymmetrical movement patterns that, over time, cause muscle imbalances that begin to add stress to one knee. You should be thinking (if the injury is not a result of trauma) why my right knee and not the left or vice versa.

Treatment:

If you have read this far I’ll take a wild guess that traditional Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation ( P.R.I.C.E.) treatment has not worked, so I’ll skip it. The follow list is in no particular order of importance. I’m simply listing the treatment options that I would send my mom to.

1. Cross train/ Strength training: I often ask runners what training they do besides running and often running is their only source of physical activity. Creating an intelligent stretching, cross-training program and/or strength training program will often resolve the issue. Find a well qualified personal trainer. A few of my favorite training facilities in the Portland Metro:

**The Egoscue Method clinic: http://www.facebook.com/egoscueportland

**Muscle in Motion: http://www.mymusclesinmotion.com/

2. Sports massage or active release technique (ART): ART practitioners are highly trained health care professionals (typically Doctors of Chiropractic) that can identify muscle imbalances and joint misalignment. There is a reason why the NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA now have ART practitioners on their treatment squad. Follow link below to learn more about ART.http://www.dvidaclinic.net/active-release-technique/

3. Address your foot needs: For podiatrist in the Portland metro I highly recommend Dr. Ray McClanahan:http://nwfootankle.com/

He will change the way you think about feet and footwear.

4. Find a running coach. Running is a sport, the most popular sport in the world in fact. Why not find someone that devotes their life to teaching others how to run injury free? Alice Peters Chi Running coach is who I suggest in the Portland Metro. http://www.runningmindfully.com/

I can’t say enough great things about what she is doing.

If you have any questions or comments don’t hesitate to email me at drrhodes@dvidaclinic.net or call at 503-616-2695.

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photo credit: hernan.seoane via photopin cc
photo credit: sportEX journals via photopin cc
photo credit: darkmatter via photopin cc

Written by Dr.Tony Rhodes, D.C.

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