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Runners knee

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What is runner's knee?

Runner's knee is characterised by pain around or underneath the knee cap (patella) which is brought on by running and relieved by rest.

What are the symptoms of runner's knee?

Runner's knee presents as pain around the front of the knee when running, walking or jumping. Pain often also occurs when getting up from a sitting position, going up and down stairs and when squatting. You may feel grating or 'creakiness' in or around the knee. The knee cap may also be painful to touch and move around.

What are the causes of runner's knee?

There are numerous causes of runner's knee. A biomechanical problem, such as poor foot posture, may be present. This can lead to abnormal joint forces and altered muscle function. Runner's knee is very common in those with flat feet. Other factors include poor footwear and obesity. An increase in activity level, an unsuitable running surface or over-vigorous training regime and a bony or soft tissue abnormality can all also cause runner's knee.

What should I do if I have runner's knee?

An assessment with your podiatrist is required to identify the cause of your runner's knee. Often successful treatment of this condition requires intervention from both your podiatrist and physiotherapist. Any activity that appears to worsen the problem should be stopped immediately.

What shouldn't I do if I have runner's knee?

Continuing with vigorous levels of running on unsuitable surfaces should be avoided so that unnecessary damage doesn't occur.

Could there be any long term effects of runner's knee?

If left untreated, runner's knee may possibly progress to osteoarthritis in the long term.

Podiatry treatment for runner's knee

Modification of your exercise regime can be discussed with the podiatrist. Orthotics (shoe inserts) may be provided by the podiatrist. With runner's knee, these aim to reduce the amount of internal rotation of the leg bone and provide support for the arch of the foot. This will return the joint forces and muscle function to return to normal.

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