Runner’s Knee Pain Specialists
Specific, personalized runner’s knee exercises that you receive from your physical therapist help reduce the pain and suffering you get when you develop runner’s knee. Proper runner’s knee exercises work well for runners and walkers alike. Call your Brooklyn physical therapy practice to treat and/or prevent knee problems before they take you down.
Runner’s knee is a condition that causes achiness and pain around your kneecap. While it certainly can be caused by excessive running, you don’t need to be a runner to get it. Physical therapists offer plenty of interventions that can help with runner’s knee.
Other damage — caused by heredity, previous breaks, prior surgery or just improper walking form — can lead to runner’s knee. The term “runner’s knee” is used to describe any pain that centers around your kneecap or patella.
Common concerns that lead to the uncomfortable condition include:
- Problems with bone structure, often not diagnosed at birth
- Standing for extended periods of time, a common work-related injury
- Weak leg muscles, sometimes occurring because of too much sitting
- Walking awkwardly or having bowed legs
- Poorly fitting and inappropriate shoes
While you may need to simply refrain for a time from the activity that caused your pain, physical therapy (PT) offers plenty of interventions that can help with runner’s knee. Physical therapists always aim to get you back to your normal routines, pain-free, in as little time as possible. Goals of PT include:
- Managing pain
- Strengthening the muscles that support your knee
- Working on the way you move
- Devising new ways of doing things to prevent further pain
- Creating strategies to manage inherent abnormalities
First Line of Runner’s Knee Rehab
Your physical therapist relies on targeted techniques to combat pain.
You may begin your treatment with gentle massage to reduce inflammation above your kneecap, since runner’s knee involves the connection of your kneecap to your thigh. Massage directed toward pain often works well for treating the early stages of runner’s knee.
Your Brooklyn physical therapist is trained to seek out the cause of your condition, as much as to help you with rehabilitation and recovery. The investigation includes reviewing the various shoes you wear. Women are highly discouraged from wearing high, spiked heels, for example, since they place enormous pressure on your knees and often cause them to move unnaturally. Your therapist may also recommend different shoes for various sports.
Runner’s Knee Treatment Options
Once your initial exam is complete and you’ve received appropriate medical treatment and rest, you can begin further treatments to get back on your feet without pain. You may be instructed to use ice packs to reduce swelling at night. Elevation and rest also are commonly suggested as at-home follow-up treatments as you recover.
At TRI Physical Therapy in Brooklyn, your physical therapist may also use taping and bandaging to give your knees extra support. Soaking and heat therapy are other home remedies, but these are less common ways of combating the pain of runner’s knee. Other treatments that may be employed to treat your knee with physical therapy for knee sprain may include:
Runner’s Knee Exercises and Stretches
The core of a good PT program for runner’s knee involves strengthening and stretching the muscle groups that support your kneecap. Many cases of runner’s knee are caused by weak or tight quads, hamstrings and hip flexors. Physical therapists know this and put you through a therapeutic round of classic stretches.
Exercises that tense up these same muscle groups may also be strongly recommended by physical therapists. Building up these muscles help you rely on them instead of on the more delicate structures around your kneecap. Exercises include:
- Squats to strengthen your quads
- Planks to increase core strength that supports your legs
- Lunges that improve glute muscle strength
- Elastic band exercises and weight-training machines that provide resistance to build leg strength
Knee Strengthening Exercises for Runners
Count on your physical therapist in Brooklyn to target specific goals if you are a runner. You’re asked about the surfaces you commonly run on and the type of support in your shoes. You can expect to do some treadmill work, while your physical therapist analyzes the way you run to see if anything about your technique is causing problems. If your form is incorrect, you get directions to retrain and correct your motions.
Runner’s knee in itself isn’t particularly dangerous. But left untreated, it can lead to worse issues down the road. Once you’ve completed a runner’s knee program, your physical therapist stresses proper stretching, muscle strengthening, adequate preparation and aftercare.
Whether you’re a runner or not, a runner’s knee program that includes proven physical therapy practices helps you get your body moving smoothly again. Don’t take your knees for granted!