Runner's knee is a general term used to describe pain around the knee cap. Though the condition might be more common in runners, you don't need to be a runner to be suffering from runner's knee pain. According to WebMd, causes of runner's knee pain may include:
- Direct trauma to the knee, such as a fall
- Flat feet
- Weak thigh muscles
One of these factors or a combination of them may cause you to feel the pain associated with 'runner's knee'. This term can also be called a syndrome, meaning that different people will experience different symptoms. Common symptoms include:
- Pain behind or around your kneecap
- Pain when bending the knee
- More pain going downstairs than you have when going upstairs
- Popping sensations
Any combination of these symptoms can have a serious impact on your daily routine, as well as your exercise routine. If you need to go up and down the stairs in your house and/or work place, you might notice pain in your knee on the way down the stairs. As you experience pain, you might also notice swelling and warmth around your knee cap. Given time, runner's knee will most likely heal on its own. However, there are several treatments that you can use that can address the pain and swelling.
Especially if your pain is due to overuse, it is very important to rest your knee. Try to take a break from running or cycling if it's part of your workout regimen. You could make use of a pool if it's available to you because it will take the weight and pressure off your joint. However, even in the pool you should still limit the motion of bending and flexing your knee.
Ice should be used particularly if you are experiencing swelling. Icing for 20-30 minutes at a time will also reduce your pain level. NSAIDs such as Advil and Aleve may decrease pain as well. Supporting your knee is also important. Elastic bandages and knee supports may be used to stabilize your knee joint.