Runner’s Knee: Not Just for Runners

Running is good for your health. It can make you happier, help you lose weight, strengthen your body, and even add years to your life. But like with any physical activity, running can also put stress on your joints and cause injury. One of the most common injuries among runners is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) or runner’s knee.

Runner’s knee isn’t only limited to runners. It affects anyone who participates in activities that involve a lot of knee bending, such as walking, biking, and jumping. It can affect both knees and is more common in younger, recreational runners, and women.

Causes and Symptoms

Runner's KneeThere isn’t one specific injury that causes runner’s knee; in fact, runner’s knee is a term that describes a variety of knee disorders that have different causes. Pinpointing the cause of runner’s knee can be difficult, but some common causes include:

  • Overuse
  • Direct trauma to the knee
  • Problems with the feet
  • Malalignment
  • Weak thighs or muscle imbalance

Because runner’s knee can have so many different causes, the symptoms can vary but typically include:

  • Pain behind or around the kneecap
  • Pain when you bend the knee
  • Pain that is worse when walking downstairs or downhill
  • Swelling
  • Grinding or popping sensations in the knee

Treating Runner’s Knee

Although the causes of runner’s knee are different, there are still treatments you can do at home to address any underlying cause, like:

  • Resting the knee as much as possible.
  • Icing the knee to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Taking anti-inflammatory drugs medications to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Stretching and performing strengthening exercises.
  • Compressing and elevating the knee.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of runner’s knee, discussing your symptoms with a medical professional can help you get back to feeling normal quickly. Every FastMed Urgent Care location offers treatment for injuries and orthopedics. If a medical professional decides you need advanced testing, we can perform digital x-rays on site, saving you time and money.

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