One of the major causes of knee pain in the front of the knee cap in athletes is a set of conditions called “runner’s knee.” Also called “Patellofemoral pain” can be caused by overuse or by a sudden injury, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. It can result from strained tendons, common in athletes, and a number of other factors.
There are ways to prevent a flareup of runner’s knee.
First, if one is overweight, lose some weight. A little bit of extra baggage can increase stress on the knee sometimes resulting in pain.
Next, be sure to do stretching exercises before going on a run. This allows the tendons and other underlining tissues to be more flexible and less prone to irritation.
Then, make certain one is using the right equipment. Good running shoes are imperative to preventing knee pain brought about by runner’s knee. If you have flat feet, use shoe inserts.
Finally, when running, maintain a good form. You should lean forward and keep the knees bent, running at a good, steady pace. Try to run on a smooth and reasonably soft surface, like a track, rather than a hard street or sidewalk. Never run straight down a hill. Either walk down it or zigzag down to decrease the incline your moving on.
If you do develop knee pain, in consultation with a doctor, you can do a number of things to alleviate the pain until the underlining causes start to heel. Avoid putting weight on the knee. Use ice to help alleviate swelling. Use an elastic bandage to compress the knee. Keep the knee elevated higher than your heart as much as possible. Anti-inflammatory medications could also be useful
Your doctor may also prescribe a number of other measures, such as special exercises and using a knee brace and shoe inserts. In more extreme cases, surgery may be required.