In my last blog post, I went over my easy, 3 step process to handling Runner's Knee pain when it first occurs. But I think that it might be helpful to explore how to spot the signs of Runner's Knee. It's something that I always try to teach my Physical Therapy patients in Jersey City and Elizabeth. This way, you'll have a better idea on whether or not to use my three step process or not. This will make you more efficient in being able to locate and figure what kind of pain you may be experiencing.
Now as we all know, Runner's Knee is a nice little catch-all phrase to describe pain, typically in the front part of the knee, that occurs during running. Now with that, there are three quick signs to spot specifically Runner's Knee pain.
The Knee Pain Does Not Go Away At Rest
If you take a break during your activity before starting up again, but you've noticed that the pain in your knee did not go away one bit during your rest, this is a sure sign that Runner's Knee could be the issue.
Swelling + Knee Pain
If there is swelling in the patellar tendon in addition to pain symptoms, you may be experiencing Runner's Knee. Refer to my previous post, where I gave a quick little test (including a video example) for how to gently check your patellar tendon for swelling.
Clicking and Grinding Sounds + Knee Pain
This one is even more of an indicator of Runner's Knee, and could be an indicator of structural problems in your knee with regards to HOW you are running. In addition to swelling, clicking and grinding sounds could possibly mean a tear to your knee cartilage, which is the natural cushioning in the knee.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, try my 3 step process on handling Runner's Knee pain. For less serious pain, it'll provide a quick way to get back to running as soon as possible. However, for more serious pain that doesn't respond to the simple method or is just too much to bear, you need to come in to my Physical Therapy office or your own local Physical Therapy office immediately in order to have more specialized knee pain care, as trying to handle a more complicated situation by yourself could lead to even more serious injury.
Dr. James Pumarada is a licensed Physical Therapist with over 18+ years of experience. He is a Sports Therapy Certified therapist, focusing on treating and training runners of all levels, and is a certified Vestibular therapist, specializing in the treatment of all dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance issues.