Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as Runners Knee, is a degenerative cartilage condition wherein the cartilage on the back of the patella (knee cap) is irritated and painful because it rubs against the bone of the upper leg.
KNEE PAIN COMMON SYMPTOMS/COMPLAINTS Patients complain of dull, aching pain leading to sharp localized pain in the front of the knee, particularly while going up or down stairs and hills. They may feel a grinding sensation and stiffness when squatting, bending and climbing stairs. The patient may experience the sensation of the knee “giving away” beneath them.
HOW IS KNEE PAIN CAUSED? The knee is a complex structure and is very sensitive. A number of factors can contribute to runner’s knee, including:
Malalignment of the kneecap Complete or partial dislocation Injury Tightness, imbalance, or weakness of thigh muscles Flat feet Patellofemoral pain may be the result of irritation of the soft tissues around the front of the knee. Strained tendons are fairly common in athletes. Other contributing factors to patellofemoral pain include overuse, muscle imbalance and inadequate stretching. Pain that begins in another part of the body, such as the back or hip, may cause pain in the knee (referred pain).
In some people with runner’s knee, the kneecap is out of alignment. If so, vigorous activities can cause excessive stress and wear on the cartilage of the kneecap. This can lead to softening and breakdown of the cartilage on the patella and cause pain in the underlying bone and irritation of the joint lining.
HOW IS KNEE PAIN TREATED? Treatment options vary according to symptoms and the severity of the injury. The patient may respond well to quadriceps strengthening exercises and a hamstring flexibility program. Actions such as crouching, knee bends and resistance exercises with knee extension from a fully flexed position should be avoided. Most importantly, proper alignment of the patella must be maintained.
Wearing well constructed running shoes and orthotics will help maintain alignment and limit pronation. It is important to change running shoes every 300 miles to ensure the shoes have not broken down causing poor alignment. The patient will likely experience pain relief within weeks and complete recovery within months (generally 2 – 3 months).
BEST SHOES FOR KNEE PAIN We carry a wide variety of shoes and sandals for knee pain. Many of the supportive shoes we carry have great support which limits pronation and reduces the stress on the knees. Additionally, we carry shoes with cushioned soles that reduce the impact on your heel which reduces the stress on the entire leg.
BEST ARCH SUPPORTS FOR KNEE PAIN We have a wide variety of arch supports for knee pain. The best arch support for knee pain will have good shock absorption, control pronation, and limit rotation of the knee. We have over the counter arch supports and custom molded orthotics which helps reduce the pain associated with knee pain. Make an appointment today with a specialist to find out which knee pain arch support is best for you!