Runners knee or that Dickie knee
As a few of my clients know that I have been training to run in the Orange running festival at the end of February, first goal is the 5 km run. Apart of getting into the spirit of the running festival we decided to make February the month we discuss all things running. I have been chatting to everyone about there running experiences and most have discussed how they stay in form, their techniques, equipment (especially the gadgets) and of course injuries and how they overcome them and continued to reach their goals.
There are several common complaints that are prone to runners and one is runners knee.
This is pain at the front of the knee radiating from the kneecap (patella). The pain can either be sharp, dull , chronic or sudden. It is also possible to disappear whilst running but start again once the body has cooled down.
You may also feel that the knee will give out, steps and hilly ground can also irritate the condition. Clicking or cracking sounds from knee. Knee becomes uncomfortable when sitting for long periods (driving and desk work).
Why does it occur?
When running the kneecap rests on the thigh bone causing irritation, the cartilage from behind the kneecap can be worn down or totally worn away. This irritation creates inflammation. Why would this occur? Usually the source of the problem relates the quadricep muscle being weak and in turn the hamstrings would be tight. If the quads are weak (see the picture of the quad) than the kneecap cannot track correctly and tight hamstrings that attach to the back of knee puts pressure on the knee.
Other reasons are as follows;
• Overloading the knee, labourers who are doing repeated movements with weights are prone to this.
• Pronation of the feet — this is when the arch collapses. This changes the muscles attached to the kneecap changing the track it glides on.
• Q Angle is important, this is the degree of difference between a line drawn from the front of hip to knee cap and a line straight from the tibia to the kneecap. If this is too large (usually more common issue with women due to wider hips) it will pull the kneecap to the outside of the knee. If this is the cause of PFPS than toning the abductors and lateral hip rotators will help
So now you know what PFPS is and how it can occur the next step is .............
What can be done to help?
• A remedial or myotherapy massage
• Acupuncture to reduce pain and release tightened muscles
• Exercises to help strengthen muscles
• Have your gait checked, possible orthotics may be required
• Taping or using knee brace to support when required
• Reduce the aggravating movements
• Most important, patience is required, this condition can take up to 6 months to correct.
• If increasing the distance you run than this needs to be done in small increments to reduce stress.
• Proper running shoes for the conditions
• run on soft surfaces where possible
• keep quadriceps strong
3 exercises as suggested by braceability
Straight Leg Lift
1 Lie down with 1 leg bent at a 90-degree angle with your foot flat on the floor and extend your other leg fully.
2 Tighten your quadriceps (thigh muscle) within your straightened leg and raise it to a 45-degree angle.
3 Hold your leg in this elevated position for a second or 2 before slowly lowering it back to the ground.
4 Repeat for 20 repetitions then switch legs. You should do 2 or 3 sets per day.
1 Begin by standing with your heels about 6 inches away from a wall and your feet about a foot apart. Your back and buttock should be pressed against the wall.
2 Slowly slide your hips down the wall until your knees are bent at roughly a 45-degree angle.
3 Hold that position for about 5 seconds, and then slowly slide back up to the starting position.
4 Repeat this motion 10 to 15 times for 2 to 3 sets.
External Hip Rotation (AKA, the Clam)
1 Lie on your side with your knees stacked and bent at 90-degree angles and your hips flexed at an angle of about 60-degrees.
2 Keeping your heels stacked together and your pelvis anchored and perpendicular to the ground, lift your top knee as high as you can, hold for a second or 2 then lower it.
3 Repeat this patellofemoral pain syndrome exercise 10 to 15 times per side for 2 or 3 sets.
1 Deep squats
2 Leg Extension Machine
If you would like to know more or feel that we can help please do not hesitate to contact our team either by phone on 5310 6259 or via our webpage or Facebook. We will endeavour to get you moving better.