Don’t let runner’s knee sideline you

Don’t let runner’s knee sideline you

People who run regularly may suffer from runner’s knee, especially those who put in long-distance miles of training. Among marathon runners especially, knee injuries have been found to be the most common setback.
Runner’s knee, aka patellofemoral pain syndrome, makes up about a ¼ of knee problems experienced by distance runners.
People with runner’s knee experience pain around or just behind the kneecap. They often have knee pain even after sitting down while the knees are bent, or during running, squatting, or walking up stairs.
There may be a clicking or popping sensation in the knee, with pain ranging from dull to sharp.
If the kneecap isn’t moving properly in its groove, when you bend and extend the leg while running it will often cause runner’s knee over time.
Reasons for runner’s knee – Factors that may contribute to runner’s knee include acute injury, arthritis, overuse, weak thigh muscles, mis-alignment, lack of flexibility and overuse (running too much).
Other causes of knee pain in people who enjoy running include arthritis, damage to cartilage that normally allows the bones to glide freely in the joint, or irritation of tendons in the joint.
Ways to prevent Runner’s Knee – Among the best ways to prevent runner’s knee are losing weight if you’re overweight, limiting high-impact activities, gradually increasing running distances and speeds, warming up and stretching properly. You may also want to try shoe inserts or a knee brace for support after consulting with a trainer or doctor.
If your knees are acting up, then back off how much you’re training or find ways to cross train such as using the elliptical machine, swimming or biking instead of running.
Icing has also been found to be a very effective treatment.
Usually a person can correct runner’s knee on their own, but in more severe cases, physical therapy or surgery may be required.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

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