Anterior knee pain, also known as “runner’s knee” is a common complaint among people who engage in a lot of weight–bearing exercise, including running, soccer, basketball, skiing, and dancing. The medical explanation is that the tissue on the underside of the patella can soften or break down, causing friction in the joint. You probably know it as a pain inside your knee, or just below the kneecap. It can cause a grinding sensation when the knee is stretched, which can be rather distressing. However, I’ve learned that anterior knee pain can be prevented and isn’t a reason to give up the sports we love. Here are some tips for dealing with anterior knee pain when it occurs, and on preventing it from happening at all.
1. Short-term Treatment
When the problem flairs up, the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are advised as an immediate treatment. A short period of rest is also a good idea, to give the cartilage some time to restore itself.
You’ve probably seen top athletes, particularly tennis players, wearing tape around their joints. When a joint injury occurs, sports tape can be used to realign the joint and hold it in position. This shouldn’t be your only treatment, but it does give the knee some extra support.
3. Shoe inserts
Anterior knee pain can be caused by flat feet. In this case, medical orthotics can be prescribed in order to give better support to the foot and reduce knee pain.
4. Change how you exercise
This is the most challenging, but also the most effective solution to anterior knee pain. Changing your running form can reduce the pressure applied to all of your joints, including your knees. Look into programmes such as chi running or natural running for advice on how to revamp your form.
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