When you run, you not only strain the knees, but also put a lot of pressure on them. The high level or low level of friction may result to inflammation, pain and swelling of the knees. If you are experiencing knee pain after running, then you might consider taking some natural remedies like bromelain, which can help in healing the underlying inflammation as well as the damage caused to the knee. There are several other treatment options that one can adapt to counter running pain.
An aching pain that occurs around the kneecap is most likely caused by a condition called the runners knee. It is also called Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome or Stress Syndrome. This condition occurs if you have suffered an injury, overused the muscles in your training time and/or dislocation. It is one of the most common causes of knee pain among athletes and runners, teens and adults. Symptoms vary depending on the extent of damage caused to the knee area. Some of the symptoms include;
- Pain near the kneecap (patella) and below it.
- Grinding when flexing or extending the knee
- Pain while walking or running downhill or walking downstairs
- Direct pressure on the kneecap causes pain
- Swelling around the patella
Read and learn more on the runners knee treatment options.
The first thing to do in order to relieve pain symptoms is to rest the knee, by avoiding putting any weight on it, avoiding activities that may cause extra stress such as squatting and high impact exercises like running. Squatting or kneeling causes extra pressure between the femur and patella. Not until when the pain and the burning sensation subsides, then you can slowly engage in light activities. Low impact activities like working out on elliptical trainers or swimming are fine. While resting the knee, keep it elevated above the heart.
Consider engaging in exercises, particularly those that strengthen and stretch your quadriceps (muscles of the front thigh) and hamstrings (back of thigh muscles). Exercises that are emphasized in several cases are those that strengthen the inner divisions of the quadriceps. These are very effective. You can isolate a few minutes of your time and focus on these muscles a couple of times in a day. It is important that you be patient for it can take a few weeks to notice any improvement.
In some cases, you may require surgery in order to treat the knee injury from running. However, surgery as a runners knee treatment option should be the last resort, and should only be considered when all the exercise programs to correct muscle imbalances fail. It is also necessary if there are any significant structural imbalances in the area and if the knee does not respond to prescribed medications. Surgery stops pain symptoms from the knee. There are two surgical options for runners knee treatment; arthroscopy and realignment. Arthroscopy removes damaged cells while realignment surgery realigns the kneecap back into position.
Apply ice to the patella, femur and upper shin area for about 15 minutes in every 2 hours. After exercising, you can also apply ice in order to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling. While icing, elevate the knee above the heart level to help reduce inflammation. Do not ice for over 20 minutes, and discontinue if you feel uncomfortable.
5. Consider remedies
Remedies are considered as long term pain relievers. To obtain long term relief, you must control the biochemical abnormality in the feet that causes the trochlear groove and patella to rub abnormally against each other with force. The pain may not subside completely, or may recur unless the problem is quickly and properly resolved. This abnormality can be treated by stabilizing the feet and providing proper shock absorption, in order to absorb the abnormal forces in the feet and avoid spreading to the knee. Custom made sports orthotics provide one of the best ways of effectively treating this problem.
6. Over the counter drugs and supplements
Glucosamine chondroitin, an over the counter supplement, is one of the safest and commonly used supplement. Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSADs) are also recommended by doctors. Supplements can take up to 3 months to notice any effects, it is therefore recommended that you take consistently.
These can only be used in extreme pain situations, and should be minimized as they can damage the tissues in the joints. Hyaluronic injection produces cushion and lubrication in the joint thus reducing pain. This however varies from one person to another.
In conclusion, treatment options vary depending on the problem causing the knee pain. Usually, non-surgical treatment options are considered, but in the event that these options do not relieve the pain symptoms, surgery may be inevitable. Rest, ice, avoid high impact exercises and exercise occasionally to reduce knee pain. Remember to elevate the knee. Anti-inflammatories can also be administered in order to reduce inflammation and swelling. Arthroscopy and realignment may be recommended if symptoms persist for long periods time.