A Runner’s Knee is actually a medical disorder wherein the cartilage beneath the knee cap is injured or degenerating, causing inflammation and pain.
There are quite a few reasons of why Runner’s Knee may occur. The most common cause is the overuse of the knee. This specifically happens to runners, athletes, soccer players, cyclists and bikers. These sportsmen constantly put a lot of stress on knees. Repetitive bending and stretching can eventually result in damage to nerves and overstretched tendons.
Another cause of a Runner’s Knee is through injury or trauma. If the trauma is direct to the knee, cartilages can be damaged which would cause the bones to slide off one another making it very painful and swollen. A fall of landing on one’s knee is a typical example of that.
Misalignment is also a common cause of this disorder. If the knee cap is not correctly in line with other bones and structures in the knee, the pressure that is being exerted by the body and movement will not be evenly displaced. Some of those structures might be getting too much weight and may cause damage and pain.
Flat feet may also cause a Runner’s Knee. Since the foot does not have the necessary arches and curves to equalize and stabilize pressure, the impact of a single step could bring too much strain to tendons and muscles of the knee.
Having weak thigh muscles can also be a cause since the muscles are not be able to properly hold up the knee structures. If a person has Runner’s Knee, the usual signs and symptoms are pain in the knee area when walking, pain behind the patella, and swelling of the affected area. Usually, patients also complain about grinding and popping sounds when the knee is being moved. The pain usually increases when the patient is walking downhill. Diagnosis of this condition may include x-ray images to be taken, physical examination, magnetic resonance imaging or MRI and computed tomography scans or CAT scans.
First aid is the first step in treating one’s Runner’s Knee. This is especially applicable when the cause of the condition is through an accident or direct injury to the knee. Most of the treatments for this condition are non-surgical. These may include pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, knee braces, physical therapy, endurance and strength exercises for legs. If surgery is indicated, physicians may perform arthroscopy where damaged cartilages are removed and realignment is carried out which aims to equalize the pressure exerted on the knee. But athletes and people have to remember that Runner’s Knee can be prevented. You just have to make sure to keep within your ideal body weight and make sure your body mass index is normal. Proper stretching and the gradual increase of exercise intensity can also prevent a person from getting the condition. And don’t forget to eat right, visit your nutritionist!