As the summer heat starts up more people are lacing up their sneakers, grabbing their I-pods, and hitting the road. Running and power walking outside are very popular forms of exercise and while they both have excellent health benefits, physical problems can still arise. Even running less than five miles a week can cause a person to develop Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) which is also known as “runner’s knee.”
Runner’s knee is a common dysfunction that plagues runners of all ability levels. The major symptom of runner’s knee is pain under or around the knee cap (patella). The pain is felt not only when running but also while walking up and down the stairs, kneeling, squatting, and sitting with a bent knee for a long period of time. Often victims of knee pain find themselves forced to take time off from work, school, and avoid athletic or recreational activities.
There could be several causes and reasons for PFPS. Hip and thigh weakness is one of the leading causes, as well as a misalignment of the knee cap, a tear in the surrounding structures, having flat feet, or excessive training or overuse. Regardless of the cause, fast and effective treatment is imperative for the correction of this condition.
Some adults suffering from runner’s knee may opt for a knee arthroscopy surgery. However, an article from the British Journal of Sports Medicine released a study where PFPS participants, some who had undergone the surgery and some who had not, utilized an 8-week home physical therapy exercise plan. The 5-year outcome was equally good for both sets of patients.
Physical therapy is imperative in order to return to pain-free running or walking. Strengthening and stretching of the appropriate musculature is essential to proper recovery as well as specific manual therapy to correct the appropriate tissues. Also, a combination of RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and stretching at home will yield the fastest and most effective results.
So if your summer activity level has been limited by pain, please give us a call for a FREE phone consultation at (610)327-2600. Also, visit our website at: www.mishock.wpengine.com, or like us on Facebook: www.fb.com/MishockPhysicalTherapy.
* Phone Consultations are not applicable to patients in federal or state funded programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid.
* Screenings are consultations and do not involve a physical therapy evaluation or treatment.
Dr. Mishock is one of only a few clinicians with doctorate level degrees in both physical therapy and chiropractic in the state of PA.