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Is Physical Therapy Enough to Deal with a Runner’s Knee?

by Cgf21panes
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Knee pain massage

You can have a runner’s knee, a common ailment that causes kneecap pain that becomes worse with activity. Nonetheless, the word is a little deceptive. It is not just a disease that affects runners, though. 

The phrase “runner’s knee” refers to a broad range of ailments and injuries that can produce discomfort in and around the kneecap.

Discover the symptoms of a runner’s knee, how to treat it, and how to avoid and cure it so you may continue to be active and pain-free.

What do you need to know about this condition?

Above the front of the knee joint is where the kneecap (patella) is positioned (patellofemoral joint.) The thigh muscle and shin bone are joined to the kneecap via ligaments and tendons. The thighbone’s cartilage is contacted by the rear of the kneecap as the knee bends (femur.)

Patellofemoral pain syndrome, sometimes known as a runner’s knee, can be caused by abnormalities in any of these moving components. Since running continually strains the knee joint, patellofemoral discomfort is frequent among runners, but it can affect people of various ages and athletic capacities.

Runner’s knee causes and risk factors:

The best and most efficient runner’s knee treatment may be chosen by you, your healthcare practitioner, and your physical therapist with the aid of understanding the underlying cause of patellofemoral pain.

Risk factors and causes of runner’s knee include:

  • Chondromalacia patella is a condition where the cartilage beneath the kneecap deteriorates and softens, causing discomfort and swelling.
  • Increased tension from weight growth on the knees raises the possibility of discomfort.
  • The kneecap can move if any of the bones, from the ankles to the hips, are out of alignment.
  • Knee discomfort can result from overusing the knee during sports, exercise, and other physical activities.
  • The knees can get strained or damaged by overtraining, poor training, and lack of enough rest time.
  • The likelihood of developing a runner’s knee rises with tight quadriceps, gastrocnemius, iliotibial band, and hamstring muscles.
  • Injury to the hip, knee, or ankle alters the biomechanics of the knee, placing strain on the knee joint.
  • The knee joint has a greater stress burden during exercise when the hip and/or thigh muscles are weak or incapable of controlling movement.
  • Overpronation and falling arches in the feet are foot problems that affect the alignment of the knee joint and raise the risk of discomfort.

Runner’s Knee Symptoms and Signs:

Patellofemoral discomfort is often felt by sufferers when engaging in physical activity or rising following a protracted period of sitting. Furthermore, the knee may feel flimsy or weak. Touching the kneecap can also make it sore.

Another typical sign of a runner’s knee is clicking, popping, or grinding when bending. Discussing your symptoms with your healthcare professional is crucial for a precise diagnosis because these symptoms might be a sign of other health concerns.

What can I do at home to treat the runner’s knee?

You may take steps to alleviate the runner’s knee discomfort and promote healing at home with the help of a good diagnosis and your healthcare practitioner. Rest is essential. Till your symptoms are under control, try to limit activities that aggravate patellofemoral discomfort, such as lunging, deep squatting, and jogging.

Please keep in mind the useful acronym PEACE and LOVE when treating soft tissue injuries. The following two-pronged strategy to lessen pain and inflammation and promote healing is supported by the most recent studies.

Focus on PEACE during the initial days following an injury:


For the first couple of days, limit your movement to modest, pain-free movements to prevent worsening the injury.


Raise the hurt limb, preferably above the heart, to encourage fluid to drain from the afflicted area.

Avoid anti-inflammatories:

The body’s natural healing process can be slowed down by anti-inflammatory medications.


For a runner’s knee discomfort, bandages, tape, and compression clothing may be helpful.


Patients who comprehend the nature of their injury are more equipped to participate actively in their rehabilitation.

Soft tissue injuries should be treated with LOVE after the first few days of PEACE:


Begin exercise and movement as soon as your symptoms permit. Increased tolerance and tissue healing are benefits of painless loading.


A positive and practical outlook on rehabilitation is crucial to the healing process. Concentrate on the progress you’re making every day and be assured that in time, you’ll feel and move better.


Cardiovascular activity that causes no pain promotes blood flow to wounded tissues.


Exercise therapy is demonstrated to be useful for the treatment of soft-tissue injuries to regain strength and mobility.

Knee pain benefits from physical therapy:

Many people who suffer from a runner’s knee find that Knee pain massage therapy is the best treatment option since it tackles the underlying structural problems that influence the knee joint and helps to lessen discomfort and increase mobility.

Exercise, manual treatment, and occasionally the use of modalities like dry needling or electrical stimulation are used to reduce pain. Overuse injury patients frequently get movement and/or gait training. Exercises that include stretching and strengthening can increase the plasticity of the muscles in the hip, knee, and ankle, relieving strain on the knee and kneecap.

In addition to these advantages, physical therapists advise their patients on lifestyle changes to stop the issue from reoccurring. For instance, they might advise workouts that won’t put too much strain on the knee or posture modifications to safeguard the knee when exercising and jogging.

Can I avoid getting the runner’s knee?

There are precautions you may take to prevent aggravating the knee joint in the future once you feel fully recovered. First of all, you don’t want to return to vigorous activity too soon. Resuming exercise shouldn’t be done until you can stand, walk, and jog pain-free while bending and straightening your knee.

Go slowly and gradually begin your workouts. Whether you are taking a walk around the block or preparing for your next marathon, a thorough warm-up, some stretching, and supportive athletic shoes may all help lower your risk of knee discomfort and other ailments. Starting with a focused physical therapy program can help you recover.

Benefits of Aquatic Therapy:

Swimming laps in the pool is just one aspect of aquatic therapy. It is a secure and efficient type of physical therapy that uses strategies supported by research to help patients move and feel better.

Aquatic therapy, like any physical therapy program, is carried out under the direction of a qualified physical therapist and follows a personalized treatment schedule depending on the patient’s physical capabilities and objectives.

For patients whose symptoms and abilities require a mild, encouraging exercise setting, aquatic physical therapy is advised instead of or in addition to standard physical therapy.

These assertions are supported by a large body of research, which also demonstrates that water therapy is a mild and efficient treatment option for a variety of common symptoms and health issues.

Patients with low back pain reported greater benefits from aquatic therapy than other physical therapy modalities for pain reduction, improved sleep, and higher quality of life, according to research published in early 2022.

Another 2020 research found that patients experienced the best training, conditioning, and rehabilitation outcomes when prescribed both land-based and aquatic physical therapy concurrently or sequentially. A thorough analysis of the existing studies on water treatment for knee osteoarthritis found that it had a favorable impact on walking, knee function, and walking pain. 

Some people who struggle with stability and balance may not be ideal candidates for physical treatment on the ground. Yet, water therapy lowers the chance of falls and fall-related injuries, enabling individuals to exercise and recover safely in a supervised setting.

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