If you are a runner and have ever suffered an injury to your knees, ankles, shins, or other areas that have stopped you from running, you understand how frustrating it can be to not be able to hit the trail.
Runners knees is one condition that can keep you seated, rather than out running your miles. There are a few things that my cause runners knee to flare up.
- Overuse from repeated bending.
- A hit to the knee or a fall.
- Misaligned bones can cause stress on your knee joint causing pain and sometimes leading to damage.
- Flat feet, overpronation, or fallen arches, can all cause runners knee to flare up.
- Muscles such as your thigh muscles that are weak will cause extra stress on your knee joints.
The pain that is caused by runner’s knee may be felt behind, or around the kneecap, and usually occurs when bending your knee such as when you run. You may also experience uncomfortable noises such as popping or grinding that can signal the onset of runner’s knee.
Hitting the Trail Again
If you feel you may have symptoms of runner’s knee it is a good idea to get a diagnosis from your doctor. This is usually completed through a physical exam. If the doctor cannot detect an issue with a physical exam he may ask that an X-ray or MRI be done.
There are things you can do to speed up recovery when it comes to the pain and discomfort of runner’s knee and most minor to moderate runner’s knee diagnosis will improve over time.
Here are some things you may want to try to help speed up recovery so that you can get back on the trail.
- Ice - Every few hours you may want to apply ice for around 15 minutes to the area of pain. Try this for two to three days before evaluating the pain.
- Rest - Stay off your feet as much as possible to try an avoid adding strain to the area.
- Compression or Support - Knee braces or kinesiology tape my help support your knee whilst you are moving. This can help take pressure of the knee and reduce the pain you feel during movement.
- Anti-Inflammatory - Taking anti-inflammatories or using a gel on the knee, can help reduce swelling and reduce the pain you are feeling.
- Strengthen the Muscles -Your Dr. may be able to give you exercises to help you strengthen your knee and thigh muscles, this can help reduce the pressure on the joints. Stretching is also good at helping reduce pain and helping to strengthen muscles.
When you feel you are ready to hit the trail again, take it slow, work up to the miles you used to run by starting with walking/running intervals. Once you feel your knee is coping well and there is no pain, build up mile by mile. This will keep you from re-injuring your knee, sending you back to the couch.
If you are looking for a high quality knee brace, or kinesiology tape, Mueller Sports Medicine offers a range of products that can help reduce discomfort and pain, contact us today and see how we can help you get back to running your miles.