Runners Knee is usually caused by one of 3 conditions.
Runners knee pain stopping you on your long run? Or do you experience pain after being sat down for long periods? Have you just increased you mileage by over 10%? Read on if you are experiencing any of these symptoms to discover what type of runners knee pain you have and how you can treat it!
Runners knee can stop your marathon training in its tracks. This can be extremely annoying if you have had a good string of training! This article will compare the 3 leading causes of Runners Knee pain and will suggest the best treatments and supplementary strength work to get you back out running ASAP!
There are 3 leading causes of knee pain that vary drastically in severity. Like with all injuries you are best seeing a physiotherapist or sports masseuse to get the condition diagnosed professionally but hopefully this blog post will give you a good starting place.
Do you have Patellofemoral Syndrome?
The first type of knee pain you might feel has a very long name. It is called Patellofemoral Syndrome (Chrondromalacia Patella) which is basically the loss of function of the patella (your knee cap).
Leading causes of this type of knee pain include tight quads or ITB, disparity between lateral quads and medial quads, weak abductors , or simply overuse/repetitive trauma.
Some of the symptoms that you might be experiencing
- Does your pain feel like it is on the top or on the inside of your knee cap?
- Do you experience pain when you walk downstairs, go from sitting to standing, or squatting?
- Do you hear creaking coming from your knee?
- Can you spot any swelling?
How can you treat this type of runners knee pain?
- Firstly correctly identify the underlying cause. To identify possible causes then stand in front of a mirror and just check whether you notice one knee or hip is higher than the other. Imbalances can be key causes of muscular pain. Take a look at my 8 week free strengthening plan that helps strengthen key areas of weakness that runners experience (Sign up for free further sown this article!).
- Ask yourself, can you feel tightness in your ITB? Your ITB is a long muscle that connects the outside of your hip to the knee. It is a big player in most runners’ knee pain.
- Strengthen the muscles on the front of your leg paying particular attention to the vastus medialis and gluteus medius.
- Reduce your mileage and try cross training on a turbo trainer and bike set-up.
- If you notice any swelling at all then make sure you ICE for 3x sets of 15 minutes.
Do you have Osteoarthritis of the Knee?
Another common cause of knee pain can be caused by Osteoarthritis of the Knee. This condition occurs from inflammation of the ITB as it moves over the knee area.
Factors that increase the chances of developing OA:
- Heredity (history in your family)
- Gender (more common in women)
- Joint Overuse
Some of the symptoms that you might be feeling include;
- Can you spot any swelling around the knee area?
- Do you experience pain and stiffness with pain at rest?
- Do you notice creaking, popping cracking noises coming from your knee?
- Does your knee feel hot?
- Have you noticed a reduction in mobility? Get yourself to the doctors for an XRay!!
Do you have the leading cause of Knee Pain? It is actually called RUNNERS’ KNEE!!
The Final and probably the leading cause of knee pain is RUNNER’S KNEE. Your therapist will most probably call this Iliotibial band syndrome.
This condition occurs when the inflammation of the ITB as it moves over the outside of the knee.
Some of the questions you need to ask yourself to identify the cause of your runners’ knee;
- Have you significantly increased your mileage? REMEMBER make sure you keep this to a 10% increase each week.
- Do you overpronate? Check out my blog article… which talks about how you can go to running shops to get this identified.
- Do the muscles of the outside of your leg feel tight?
- Do you notice a difference in the length of your legs? Does one of your knees or hip sit higher than the other?
- Poor running form can be a key contributor to sore knees.
So what symptoms should you look out for when it comes to runners’ knees?
- Are you experiencing pain on the outside of your leg?
- Do you feel pain when you run downhill or climb stairs?
- Do you hear a click when you bend your knee to 30 degrees?
- Does it hurt when you press the knee?
- You can test whether you have runner’s knee by performing the Ober test. Check out the youtube video below and give it a try!
So how can you treat runners’ knees?
Treatment for runner’s knees include the following simple actions;
- Dealing with any pronation issues by buying some new trainers. Brooks Adrenaline is a great running shoe choice!
- Start foam rolling
- Self stretch out your hip abductors
- Sign up to my 8 Week Strengthening Programme for Runners!
For help stretching out your ITB! Check out Yoga With Adriene.
The best buys to help the treatment of runners knee pain.
Below are some key items that you need in your runners knee rehab. The foam roller is an essential to treat your tight IT band.
Can bicycling help runner’s knee?
YES!!! Bicycling can be a great way to take the pressure of your knee whilst maintaining your cardio fitness? No idea about bicycles? Take a look at the turbo trainer and cube bike below. They are great entry level picks. They are expensive but a great way to prevent runners knee!