Runner’s knee is a condition that causes persistent dull pain at the front of the knee, around the kneecap (patella). It tends to occur due to overuse, injury, or muscle imbalances, or weaknesses in the knee area.
In addition to running, causes of runner’s knee include:
- An injury to the knee, such as a fall or direct trauma to the knee
- Weak or imbalanced leg muscles that do not support the knee correctly or keep it properly aligned
- A structural defect, such as the kneecap being too high within the knee joint
- Excessive training or overuse of the knee joint
- A walking or running style that causes the foot to roll inward
- Tight hamstrings or Achilles tendons
- Inadequate foot support
Usually, runner’s knee will get better with rest. However, if the pain continues or becomes worse, it is in your best interest to see a doctor for professional knee pain treatment to alleviate the discomfort.
Types of Knee Pain Treatment
There are a number of knee pain treatments available today. The treatment you choose depends on factors such as your age, level of pain and discomfort, overall health, and personal preferences.
Applying ice or a cold pack to the hurting knee can help to reduce pain and inflammation. The cold temperature will help to decrease blood flow to the area, thereby helping to speed up recovery.
Ice or cold packs should only be applied for 20-minute intervals, and be sure to cover the ice pack with a towel to avoid direct contact with the skin. Leaving it on for too long can lead to nerve and tissue damage, or even frostbite.
Bracing and External Support
A supportive knee brace or taping around the knee can help to improve pain symptoms by reducing pressure on the joint. Taping may be recommended by your doctor when returning to regular activity in order to support the knee and reduce further injury.
If over-the-counter oral or topical pain-relief medications do not alleviate your symptoms of pain and swelling, then your doctor may give you a prescription for a stronger knee pain treatment. Let your physician know if the treatment fails to work because different medications work better for some people but not for others.
Rehabilitation Exercises and Stretches
Physical therapy can help to relieve your knee pain and prevent problems in the future. Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can help to increase the range of motion and maintain strength in the supportive tissues.
PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy is a regenerative treatment that uses your own blood’s natural healing properties to repair soft-tissue injuries. This knee pain treatment involves your doctor taking a small draw of your own blood, processing it in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets, and then reinjecting the platelet-rich plasma directly into the hurting knee to generate new, healthy tissue.
In severe cases of runner’s knee, surgery may be recommended. Your doctor can perform this to remove any bone fragments or to repair damaged cartilage that may be causing knee pain. Outpatient orthoscopic knee surgery can be performed to repair the damage and to eliminate future knee pain.
Knee Pain Treatment in Austin, Cedar Park, and Marble Falls, TX
If you are experiencing persistent knee pain, see a pain specialist here at Balcones Pain Consultants. We will evaluate your symptoms and develop an individualized plan to effectively treat your pain.
To find out more about our knee pain treatment services or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (512) 834-4141 or fill out our convenient appointment request form online now. We have three convenient locations in Austin, Cedar Park, and Marble Falls, and we look forward to helping you find lasting relief from your knee pain!