Runner’s knee or patellofemoral pain syndrome is one of those that you need to prevent if you are into running sports or activities that utilize your knees and femur actively. Runner’s knee causes pain on the patella or the knee cap and this pain is a result of friction on the bony groove where the knee cap is located. Runner’s knee is considered an overuse injury during activities involving the legs and preventing it means preventing the excessive tension on the patella and femur. The development of runner’s knee may also be a result of complex issues on the muscles around the legs contributing to pain on the knee cap. These problems are the main focus for preventive measures for patellofemoral pain syndrome. Although running may be a common cause for runner’s knee, you don’t need to prevent running throughout especially if your activities involve this motion. The following are some of the effective managements for the prevention of runner’s knee:
• Run on accommodating surfaces
Running itself is not the sole reason for runner’s knee, but it is running on uneven terrains, uphill and downhill and even on concrete. To prevent runner’s knee, make sure to take even paths and even more accommodating surfaces like asphalt and dirt paths.
• Strengthen your quadriceps
Your quadriceps is an essential muscle group to help support the knee during running. In this sense, strengthening the quadriceps is one of the ways to prevent runner’s knee.
• Stretch your hamstrings
The hamstring muscles are also one of the most important structures when running. It properly supports the thighs and the stride of the femur to keep the knee joint and patella in place.
• Reduce weight
Being overweight may place undue stress on your knees, which may also lead to the development of runner’s knee overtime. Make sure to trim down those pounds to relieve tension off the patella.
• Increase training distance and intensity gradually
If you are just starting on training, running long distances in increased intensity may place your legs on undue tension in which the muscles and other soft structures are not ready of. Increase the intensity and your distance gradually for this matter. If you have been sedentary lately, also begin from the basics and never start form where you previously stopped.
• Use the right running shoes
Proper running shoes provide adequate support to the feet and legs and prevent over or under pronation and properly supports the arches of the feet. Using inappropriate running shoes is one of the most common causes for runner’s knee so purchase your running shoes before it’s too late. Your running shoes should also be replaced after 400 to 600 miles of run to ensure that it is still supportive.
• Run with the most appropriate form
Wrong running form can also put more tension on your legs and feet that may subsequently cause pain around the knees. Start your run with a correct stance and hit the ground using good foot positioning. Achieving appropriate running form also means developing your core muscles to create a more steady posture.
All of these measures are deemed effective for preventing runner’s knee. Finally, make sure to take some rest because anything in excess may cause harm on the body.