There's almost nothing that can hold a dedicated runner back from racking up the miles. Lacing up a pair of sneakers is in their blood. So there's nothing more frustrating for a runner than an injury that keeps them doing what they love. From shin splints to stress fractures, runners have to watch out for lots of different types of injuries, especially one of the most common - runner's knee.
There are a few telltale signs that the pain you're experiencing is runner's knee. According to Veritas Health, the main symptoms of runner's knee may include:
Generally, runner's knee symptoms include some amount of pain that intensifies while you're engaging in physical activity that involves your knee. The best way to determine if you have runner's knee is to see a medical professional for a diagnosis.
Iliotibial band syndrome typically causes pain on the side of your knee, whereas patellofemoral syndrome typically causes pain on the front of your knee, around and under the kneecap. Both types of injury usually affect runners, triathletes, hikers and serious walkers.
Patellofemoral syndrome is much more common than iliotibial band syndrome and often becomes more intense after rest. The pain can be magnified by stairs and hills or uneven surfaces. More common in recreational runners than elite runners, it's twice as prevalent in women than men.
According to William Roberts, MD, in Runner's World, "Patellofemoral pain is most often a result of abnormal biomechanics caused by problems up- or downstream from the knee, forcing the patella to bump up against the femoral groove. Think of it like a train car: The patella is like a train on the femoral groove railroad track. When the train and the track don't run smoothly against each other, pain occurs."
The main causes of runner's knee are:
While the best course of treatment for runner's knee is to stop running until you are able to run again without pain, as Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests, in the short-term, runner's knee symptoms are most effectively treated with:
Additionally, over-the-counter pain relief medications like ibuprofen can help reduce discomfort.
However, to address the causes of runner's knee in the long-term, you must consider two issues:
If you’re looking for great runner's knee orthotics, follow these tips for the best results:
In addition to adding insoles to your running sneakers, some other ways to prevent runner's knee include weight loss if needed, investing in a good pair of running shoes, running leaning forward with your knees bent, and stretching before you head out.
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Mark has always believed exceptional footwear can change lives. He's been in the footwear industry for over 30 years, working with podiatrists, pedorthists, foot care experts, and footwear makers. Mark started Chaco sandals in 1989 and developed a game-changing sport sandal that delivered comfort and durability. After Chaco sold in 2009, Mark ultimately started Tread Labs to continue transforming people's footwear so they can walk better, feel better, live better.
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