PFPS Runner’s Knee

What is Runner’s Knee Pain?

Runner’s knee, also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), is a common injury among runners, hence the name. It is characterized by pain around the kneecap, which usually worsens when climbing stairs, squatting, or sitting for prolonged periods.

Common Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of a runner’s knee may vary depending on the individual. However, some common signs and symptoms include –

  1. Pain around the kneecap: The pain is often felt in the front of the knee or around the kneecap. It is usually dull, aching, or throbbing, and may become more intense with activity.
  2. Swelling: In some cases, there may be swelling around the kneecap.
  3. Clicking or popping: You may experience a clicking or popping sensation when bending or straightening your knee.
  4. Stiffness: The knee may feel stiff or tight, especially after sitting for prolonged periods.

Causes of Runner’s Knee Pain

The exact cause of runner’s knee is not known, but it is believed to be the result of various factors. Some common causes include –

  1. Overuse: This is the most common cause of runner’s knee. Overuse of the knee joint, especially with repetitive activities like running, can cause the muscles and tendons around the knee to become inflamed.
  2. Poor biomechanics: Poor running form or alignment can also lead to a runner’s knee. When the knee is not aligned properly, it can cause stress on the kneecap, resulting in pain and inflammation.
  3. Muscle weakness: Weakness in the muscles around the knee can also contribute to the runner’s knee. When the muscles are weak, they cannot support the knee joint properly, leading to pain and discomfort.
  4. Trauma: Trauma or injury to the knee, such as a fall or a blow to the knee, can also lead to a runner’s knee.

Treatment Options

The treatment for runner’s knee depends on the severity of the injury. However, some common treatment options include –

  1. Rest: Taking a break from running or any other activity that aggravates the knee can help to reduce the pain and inflammation.
  2. Ice: Applying ice to the affected area can also help to reduce pain and swelling. It is recommended to apply ice for 10-15 minutes at a time, several times a day.
  3. Physiotherapy can help to strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve biomechanics, thereby reducing the risk of further injury.
  4. Knee brace: Wearing a knee brace can also help to reduce the pain and provide support to the knee joint.
  5. Anti-inflammatory medication: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen can help to reduce pain and inflammation.

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Scientific References

  1. Décary S, Ouellet P, Vendittoli PA, Desmeules F. Efficacy of conservative treatments for patellofemoral pain syndrome: A systematic review. Clin J Sport Med. 2019;29(5):360-370.
  2. Dixit S, DiFiori JP, Burton M, Mines B. Management of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Am Fam Physician. 2007;75(2):194-202.
  3. Van Der Heijden RA, Lankhorst NE, Van Linschoten R, Bierma-Zeinstra SM, Van Middelkoop M. Exercise for treating patellofemoral pain syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;(1):CD010387.