It depends on where you are from, some call it runner’s knee, runner knee or patellar tendinitis.
I have dealt with runner knee issues since I was in high school and over the years have actually had three knee surgeries on account of it.
My biggest concern when I was in high school was why I kept having issues with my knees at such a young age.
I wrote about this at length in a post I wrote awhile back called Knee Injury Running Setbacks And What To Do About It, which I recommend you read as well as this can help elevate the frustration I am sure you feel.
The common issues we have in most developing countries is simply our environment.
The best runners in the world are usually from poor, developing countries where roads are not paved and this can be a blessing for them as the impact is very low on their joints and bones as opposed to us Western folk.
If you are dealing with runner knee issues I wanted to write on a few tips that have helped me over the years to conquer this pesky problem many of us have faced, will face or may face again unless we take these tips to heart.
If you ever have setbacks due to runner knee complications I highly suggest you get in the deep end of a pool and try out pool running.
There is zero impact on the knees or any other part of the body and the resistance from the water adds to the benefit of a great anaerobic workout very similar to land running.
No impact, zero chance of getting injured or complicating your runner knee roadblock.
It takes time to heal and often times what runner’s knee stems from is muscular imbalances within the knee join and the quadriceps.
We spend a great deal of our time trying to perfect our running but often times neglect strength training and these runner knee complications occur because of it.
That being said, it isn’t an issue that cannot be corrected so keep the faith and drive on.
Find Softer Surfaces
If you are in an urban area this isn’t always the easiest thing to do but there are still options.
Anything is better than running on concrete, perhaps treadmill running is something you need to try more often.
I know the boredom of running on a treadmill can wreak havoc on you mentally as I have done it countless times over the years and it never is as easy or joyful as running outside but it it still somewhat less impact than concrete or payment running everyday.
You have to change up your routine sometimes and do your best to get away from running on the hard surfaces.
Soft surfaces are really everywhere, you just need to search to find them.
Think about all the times you have driven past high school’s or college’s.
You could always run on the grass that surround these facilities if you have no other choice.
Runner knee can take out the best of runners and it doesn’t matter how motivated you are, the risk of complicating an injury is simply not worth it in the end.
Find dirt roads or trails near your home, parks or other locations where there may be people around as this is always a better substitute than running on pavement or concrete.
Use Styrofoam Cups As Recovery Aids
I spent many years nursing runner knee injuries and there was nothing I used more than styrofoam cups to help massage sore knees.
Take a view of them and fill them up with water, place in your freezer, wait to freeze and you can use these to massage your knees as well as use again if need be.
Patellar tendinitis and I are not close friends and from my high school years all through college I either had a knee strap on my knees to keep my patellar tendon in place or was icing my knees.
I still, to this day, from time to time use these recovery methods to help relieve my knee pain as well as using healthier products to recover.
I have had two knee surgeries on my left knee and one on my right knee and all for the same knee complication.
The medical community calls the condition I had ‘floating bodies‘.
It basically is when small pieces of cartilage break off into your knee cap and than floats around the knee capsule.
Have you ever had this condition?
If you have you know exactly what I mean when I say it is something you can run through depending on where the ‘floating body‘ decides it wants to situate itself.
If it lodges itself behind the knee you may be fine but if it moves to the side of the knee or below the patellar joint it will immediately lock your knee up and you will know it instantly.
What To Do Next?
So what do you do if you ever have a runner knee related problem like this?
If it has to do with cartilage breaking off in your knee cap the only thing you can opt for is either to stop all running related activity and go schedule to get an MRI done or use pool running running as a substitute.
The MRI will pick up the image of the floating piece of cartilage that an X-ray will not.
The problem is this method can be costly.
MRI’s are usually $1000 or more to have done.
If you have medical coverage than this may not be as much of a concern but not everyone does.
The good news is that recovery from these types of surgeries are quite fast.
You can be back to running in about 4 to weeks after having floating bodies removed from your knee.
Obviously, please consult your Physician and ensure you do not rush back into training as you will end up like me who did start back too soon and had to have the same procedure done on the same knee.
Trust me, I know what I am talking about in this post and want the best for you.
Runner knee related issues can be easily combated against with a plan of action that has to do with minimal hard surfaces contact, emphasis on lowering inflammation within the joint by alternative methods mentioned here on rundreamachieve.
You can also implement light strength training into your routine.
Find knee exercises that can help strengthen the joint and surrounding muscles to help stabilize any imbalances that may be occurring.
Runner knee related complications are bound to occur but if you take some of the above mentioned tips to heart you will lessen your chances of dealing with them for long.