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What is Runner’s Knee?

Runner's knee is a common term for a condition called patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). It's a condition that affects the knee joint and causes pain around the patella, or kneecap. PFPS is often caused by repetitive stress on the knee joint, and it's particularly common in runners and other athletes who engage in activities that involve a lot of jumping or squatting.


The exact cause of runner's knee is not well understood, but it's thought to be due to a combination of factors. These may include overuse of the knee joint, muscle imbalances, poor biomechanics, and weak or tight muscles. Running on uneven surfaces or downhill can also contribute to the development of runner's knee.


The symptoms of runner's knee typically include pain around the kneecap that worsens when going up or down stairs, squatting, or sitting for long periods of time. The knee may also feel stiff or tender, and you may experience a grinding or popping sensation when bending or straightening the knee.


Treatment for runner's knee usually involves a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (known as the RICE method), as well as physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee. In some cases, braces or orthotics may be recommended to provide additional support to the knee joint.


If left untreated, runner's knee can become a chronic condition and may even require surgery in severe cases. To prevent runner's knee, it's important to maintain proper form when running or engaging in other activities that put stress on the knee joint. This includes wearing proper footwear, stretching before and after exercise, and gradually increasing your activity level to avoid overuse injuries.


In conclusion, runner's knee is a common condition that affects the knee joint and causes pain around the kneecap. It's often caused by repetitive stress on the knee joint and can be prevented by maintaining proper form and gradually increasing your activity level. If you're experiencing symptoms of runner's knee, it's important to seek medical attention to receive proper treatment and prevent the condition from becoming chronic.


Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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