How does a runner knee notice?
After walking for a while, pain on the outside of the knee occurs. During running, the pain intensity then increases, so you have to cancel the running unit. After completing running, the pain usually disappears. The normal everyday stress usually does not cause any pain. Swelling or overheating of the knee joint, which would indicate tissue inflammation, is rare.
How is a runner’s knee created?
To ensure that the movement in the knee joint runs smoothly and the knee joint can withstand even extreme loads, the perfect interaction of all involved structures such as bones, cartilage, ligaments, capsule, menisci, and muscles is enormously important.
Coming from the hip, a tendon plate, also called the iliotibial tract, runs over the thigh and knee to the outside of the tibial head. With each movement, this tendon plate shifts over the prominent outer edge of the knee joint. In a long-distance run, this repetitive and uniform motion is then performed thousands of times. Overloading (intense running) and/or misloading (for example, improper running style) can irritate the tendon plate. The runner’s knee is thus an overload of conditional irritation on the outside of the knee joint.
One cause of the runner’s knee is often found in those affected in the mostly shortened muscles in the hip area. This causes the tendon plate to move with increased tension over the outside of the knee joint. The overused tissue then ignites. Other causes of the Runners’s knee are also misalignments of the leg axes, such as O-legs, X-legs, malformations of the foot as Senkspreiz- or hollow foot and wrong running shoes.
The diagnosis of “runner’s knee” can often already be made by the anamnesis and the targeted examination of the knee joint and the musculature. Ultrasound, MRI and X-ray of the knee joint are rarely necessary, to exclude, for example, a meniscal tear, cartilage damage or a fatigue fracture.
Therapy of the runner’s knee
- Reduction of running
- Cooling of the knee and anti-inflammatory ointment in the acute phase
- intensive stretching of the musculature of the hip outside several times active (can be done independently)
- targeted physiotherapy (as support) with gymnastics, transverse frictions, possibly electrotherapy
- Cold therapy for local metabolic stimulation, alternating baths or heat packs (can be done independently)
- Anti-inflammatory tablets or injections with metabolism-stimulating or regenerative substances should only be prescribed in severe cases.
- Checking the running shoes and the running technique as well as compensation for any misalignments of the leg axes or feet, for example by means of suitable running shoes and / or special insoles.
When the acute symptoms have subsided, a light running workout can be started after about 2 weeks.
How to avoid a runner’s knee …
- Avoid excessive and incorrect loading of the knee joints
- Stretching before and after exercise (stretching the outside of the leg, for example, by crossing over the legs when standing and tilting the torso laterally)
- Gradually increase the scope and speed
- adequate regeneration times
- suitable, customized running shoes