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Runner's Knee
  March 2012

Running outside is a very popular form of exercise and while it has excellent health benefits, physical problems can arise quickly and with very little miles run. Even running less than five miles a week can cause a person to develop what it is commonly referred to as "runner's knee". Runner's knee is a common dysfunction that plagues runners of all levels and ability levels. The major symptom is pain under or around the knee cap (patella). The pain is felt not only when running but also while walking up and down stairs, kneeling, squatting, and sitting with a bent knee for a long period of time.

There could be several causes and reasons for runner's knee. Hip and thigh weakness is one of the leading causes, as well as a misalignment of the knee cap, a tear in the surrounding structures, having flat feet, or excessive training or overuse. Regardless of the cause, fast and effective treatment is imperative for the correction of this condition.

Physical therapy is imperative in order to return to pain-free running. Runner's knee requires treatment of the entire lower leg, including the hips and feet. Strengthening and stretching of the appropriate musculature is essential to proper recovery as well as specific manual therapy to correct the appropriate tissues. Also, a combination of RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and stretching at home will yield the fastest and most effective results.

The most important thing to remember with runner's knee is the sooner you seek treatment the faster it will heal. It is not any injury that will go away on its own – you will need professional medical intervention. It is however, something that you are able to fully recover from and be back on the road in no time.

(Article source:The Mercury–Pottstown,PA; By: Dr. Heather Moore;8/08/11)




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