Runner’s knee is a term for knee pain that commonly affects runners but can affect anybody. It’s not a singular condition itself but is a term given to any kind of pain that affects the patella (kneecap). The primary cause of runner’s knee is the overuse of the knee from repetitive activity, like running, jumping, biking or even walking a lot.
However, there are several conditions that can cause pain in the kneecap that frequently affect runners, including:
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome
- Chondromalacia patella
- Iliotibial syndrome
- Strain to the muscles and tissues around the kneecap
- Blunt impact to the kneecap
When you have pain in your knee around the kneecap, you may be suffering from runner’s knee. Occasional knee pain of this sort can usually be treated with rest and medications. But, if the pain persists for a long period of time or includes other symptoms like grinding and popping, you’ll need to see a health care professional for treatment.
Treating runner’s knee with physical therapy
People with runner’s knee can usually get the treatment they need from a physical therapist. Physical therapy treatments improve the condition of the knee while reducing the need for drugs or surgical intervention.
Physical therapists have different methods for treating runner’s knee. The treatment you need will depend on the severity of your kneecap pain and what exactly is causing it. Many physical therapy treatments for runner’s knee include:
- Exercising and stretching — Stretches and exercises for the muscles around the knee can help lessen pressure off the kneecap, which reduces pain and helps prevent future pain. Many of these stretches and exercises specifically target the quadriceps, which are large muscles in your thigh that connect to your knee.
- Manual therapy — Hands-on techniques that mobilize the knee and manipulate it into different positions can help lessen pain and improve your range of motion.
- Orthotics — Poor footwear can affect the way you run, and that can have a direct impact on your knees. If that’s the case, you might consider custom in-soles for your shoes that are molded for your feet to give you proper support.
Physical therapists can provide guidance for the kinds of orthotics and footwear you need based on the shape of your feet and your stride. This can improve your stride and reduce the impact running puts on your knees.
Visit Arrow Physical Therapy in Woodbridge, NJ, for runner’s knee treatment
Are you a runner who lives near Woodbridge, New Jersey, and has chronic kneecap pain? Even if you don’t run, if your kneecap is in pain, our physical therapists at Arrow Physical Therapy can help. Contact our team today to learn more about treating runner’s knee or to schedule an initial appointment.