Runners Knee goes my many names. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), Chondromalacia, Patella tracking error, weak quads and more. If your knee hurts and you happen to be a runner you may have been labeled with one of those diagnosis. Typical Runners Knee results in pain underneath (deep) to your kneecap and is described as achy and painful while running, running downhill, downstairs, squatting or lunging.
The problem is more common in women than men and is thought to be related to foot pronation and/or knee angle. Because women have a wider (wider than men) hip to knee ratio they have a sharper angle at their knee. This can result in excessive torque on the knee, its structures resulting in pain and dysfunction. Due to excessive torque it is common for the kneecap to become misaligned and pop out if its track. This is why it is called a patella tracking error. When it pops out of its track it can result in repetitive grinding, popping and clicking causing degeneration of the cartilage behind the kneecap. This is known as Chondromalacia or sometimes arthritis. The chronic pain causes runners to avoid using their quadriceps in activities such as squatting or lunging. This results in muscle weakness or quadriceps weakness.
What you can see after reading the above is that everyone is describing the same problem but in a different way. Runners Knee is Patella tracking problems and Chondromalacia and weak quadriceps resulting in Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS).
At the San Diego Running Institute we carry many “quick-fixes” for Runners Knee. To address overpronation we stock SUPERFEET orthotics. SUPERFEET orthotics provides arch support and stability to prevent overpronation which can cause Runners Knee. We also carry PRO-TECH neoprene knee supports with the hole cut-out for your knee cap. This simple knee brace can help provide compression and support and alleviate some of your knee pain. If these “quick-fixes” fail the San Diego Running Institute can provide you with a referral to Dr. Victor Runco. Dr. Runco is a marathon runner and running injury specialist. If the simple, quick-fix methods have not helped your knee pain Dr. Runco can. He will properly diagnose your knee condition to make sure it is Runners Knee and not Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Patella Tendonitis, ligament sprains or meniscus injury. He can then recommend therapy, strengthening exercises, Kinesiotaping and if necessary custom foot orthotics and/or better shoes to help cure your Runners Knee.
If you have knee pain stop by the San Diego Running Institute and one of our running specialists will show you some of the easy fixes that have helped thousands of runners get rid of their knee pain. If you prefer to make an appointment with Dr. Runco call (858) 268-8525.
* Old Meniscus Tears – Medial more common. Results in periodic bouts of swelling and pain. Usually symptomatic periods will decrease. If not meniscus surgery may be warranted.
* Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome – Muscle imbalances, patella tracking errors and chondromalacia patella.
* Stress fractures – Pain made worse while weight bearing, may be pinpoint. Need bone scan for definitive diagnosis.