Do you love to run? Running is a great way to stay fit. This cardiovascular exercise will get your blood pumping and burn fat. It also helps to put you in a good mood. Running can indeed be quite an enjoyable activity once you form a habit of it. However, that is only when your body is in its best condition. It isn’t uncommon for runners to experience injuries that can turn that refreshing morning run into one filled with excruciating pain. Below, we discuss common running knee injuries and how they can be treated.
Common Running Knee Injuries
This is one of the most common knee problems for runners. The condition is characterized by pain around or behind the kneecap. The pain is present when running, bending, squatting, or even after you have sat for a while. There are several runner’s knees possible causes. These include overuse, muscle imbalances, and poor running mechanics. The pain is a result of irritation of the cartilage in the kneecap.
Understanding the runner’s knee’s possible causes helps with designing a treatment suited for your injury. In many cases, resting the knee is essential for healing. You can apply ice packs and a knee brace or straps to provide support, secure the knee in one position and reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy exercises focusing on strengthening the quadriceps and hip muscles will be beneficial.
Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome
The IT band is a thick band of connective tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh. It can become inflamed when it is overused. This can lead to a lot of pain on the outer side of the knee. This is known as IT band syndrome. It often occurs to runners when they increase their mileage.
Treatment for IT band syndrome may include taking complete rest from running for a while. You should avoid any other activities that could aggravate your symptoms. This is vital for allowing the IT band to heal. You may apply ice or use a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to relieve the pain and inflammation. Performing some stretching and strengthening exercises can help to strengthen the hip muscles. You should pay particular attention to the glutes and hip abductors. This will help to speed up recovery.
This is also commonly referred to as a jumper’s knee. The injury involves the inflammation of the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone. It is an injury that often occurs as a result of overuse or jumping. It often occurs when you increase your mileage or perform exercises that place a lot of load on your knees.
Treatment for the condition includes resting. This will help the tendon to heal. You can reduce inflammation in the joint using ice packs or by taking an NSAID. It also helps to wear a knee strap that supports the knee from just below the kneecap. This will help to relieve the stress on the tendon. It can be helpful in reducing the pain.
It is important to seek physical therapy for this type of injury. A therapist will help you perform exercises that focus on strengthening the quadriceps. They will also guide you on the best way to return to running without further injury.
The meniscus is a C-shaped cartilage within the knee joint. It provides a cushion that absorbs shock during running. If the meniscus tears, it can cause pain and inflammation of the knee. Tears in the meniscus may occur as a result of sudden twisting movements during running.
Treatment for this injury depends on the level of severity of the tear as well as its location. A minor tear can heal quickly. Minor tears can be treated by taking some time to rest. You can also apply ice and compression to improve healing. Elevate your knee to prevent the accumulation of fluids in the knee. Physical therapy can also be beneficial for recovery.
Larger tears may require surgery. This is also true for those suffering from persistent symptoms. It is advisable that you seek a doctor’s guidance. Your doctor may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon for further consultation.
This occurs as a result of years of wear and tear. The cartilage in the knee becomes thin as it wears out. The friction between the bones of the knee joint is therefore increased. This may result in pain when moving your knee.
Strength exercises can help to strengthen the muscles around the knee and reduce the strain on your knees. However, you should avoid high-impact exercises as these will increase the strain on the knee. You may require surgery to manage pain. Runners’ knee surgery recovery time will vary depending on the state of your health.
If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of running, be sure to consult an experienced orthopedic surgeon.