Runner's knee is the common term for pain that affects one's knee while running, or pain that develops as the result of running. Many runners suffer from this condition at some point, although many manage to get over it and return to pounding the pavement in no time. Physiotherapy can help in both the prevention and treatment of runner's knee. Read on to find out more about this condition and how a good physiotherapist can help.

What is Runner's Knee?

Runner's knee simply means "pain in the knee." There are two main underlying causes of this pain, both of which can be treated through physiotherapy.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

If you have pain running down the side of the knee, then it is possible that you have iliotibial band syndrome, which is often referred to as IT band syndrome or ITBS. Many runners notice this kind of pain most strongly when they are running downhill or sometimes when they walk downstairs after a run.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Pain on the front of the knee is most likely to be a symptom of patellofemoral pain syndrome, sometimes called PFPS. The pain is located behind the kneecap and is often worse when running uphill or climbing up a flight of stairs. PFPS affects women more often than men due to the different shapes of the pelvis between the sexes.

How Can Physiotherapy Treat Runner's Knee?

When you have pain in one or both of your knees, the first thing you should do is rest. Reduce your mileage and also consider sticking to flatter routes if hills are triggering your knee pain.

Seeing a physiotherapist could also help you recover. A physiotherapist can examine your posture and gait to work out what is causing your runner's knee, which can be particularly useful if you only suffer from knee pain on one side of your body. They can recommend exercises that gradually increase the strength of the muscles around your knee to help you recover.

How Can Physiotherapy Prevent Runner's Knee?

Physiotherapy is useful because it helps reduce the chance of runner's knee coming back after you have recovered. If you keep doing the exercises recommended by your physiotherapist, you can build up strength around your knees to protect them from the strain of your running routine. Other prevention tips include building up your mileage gradually rather than suddenly, replacing your shoes when they start to wear out and doing most of your running at an easy pace.

Contact a physiotherapy clinic near you to learn more.