According to a recent article published in U.S. News, 5 Common Running Injuries and How to Heal Them, 50% of running injuries are estimated to occur at the knee. If you are a runner that experiences pain in the kneecap during activities like running, squatting, prolonged sitting, or going down the stairs, you likely have patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), or “runner’s knee”.
Risk factors include biomechanical factors such as weak glutes, quads and excessive foot pronation that end up placing extra stress on the knee and can be further exacerbated by the wrong footwear or accelerated training mileage. You will likely be able to continue training through this type of injury but may want to scale back training mileage, take extra rest days, and add in cross-training activities like swimming, elliptical or biking. Running with incline on a treadmill and shortening your stride length/increasing steps per minute will help to decrease load through the knee as a short-term solution.
Consulting with a physical therapist can help you to develop a pain-free strengthening program to address any quadriceps or glute weakness and underlying biomechanical issues or muscular imbalances, as well as teach you how to use elastic therapeutic taping to provide increased support around the knee.
See this video for 3 simple exercise you can do to help yourself:
A lot of runners and athletes have found taping to beneficial as it may provide enough relief to allow you to continue running or exercising while working on the strengthening. If you want to learn how you can tape your own knee, click on the link below to get access to a special training video on taping for Runner's Knee.
We are always available to consult with you individually as well - just contact us to set up an appointment.