Patellofemoral pain syndrome, aka “Runner’s Knee”, is the most common overuse injury in runners.
It is caused by the kneecap (patella) not gliding smoothly over the lower part of the thighbone (femur). The underlying cause of this abnormality varies between individuals but is most commonly due to atypical kneecap shape or location, cartilage abnormality in the knee, foot abnormality, or muscular imbalances. If a muscle is tight, such as the hamstrings, it can pull the kneecap out of the normal groove that it sits in which may cause the symptoms of patellofemoral pain syndrome. This condition can affect one or both knees and is most common in younger runners, especially women. This is due to the fact that women have a greater angle between the thighbone and knee which puts an increased stress on the knee itself.
The most common symptoms of patellofemoral pain syndrome are pain in the knee joint (typically in the center), cracking in the knee, or the sensation that the knee is going to give out. There are ways to reduce the likelihood that you will suffer from patellofemoral pain syndrome. These include:
- running on softer surfaces,
- not increasing the mileage that you run by any more than 10% per week,
- wearing properly fitted running shoes, and
- by performing proper stretching prior to, as well as, after runs.
As a runner, Dr. Max understands the cause of patellofemoral pain syndrome and knows the best treatment methods to both reduce the pain and prevent its recurrence. Call Irving Park Chiropractic today to schedule an appointment to get out of pain and back to what you love doing!