The reason for Knee Pain When Running is Finally Found

Leg pain when running, more commonly called Runners Knee, is a painful and limiting condition that affects approximately 1 in 4 of those who are active, now new research might have finally pinpointed the cause – weak muscles.

Those who develop this problem tend to have weaker quads and hamstrings based on study co-author Darin Padua, Ph. D. “As a result, they don’t flex their knees as much when performing tasks, such as running or leaping. That means the contact area involving the kneecap and the femur is smaller, so pressure is focused and pinpointed on a smaller area. ”

Recognized to medicine as patellofemoral pain symptoms, the study out of the University of New york at Chapel Hill is the to begin its kind to look at athletes each before and after they develop this unpleasant problem.

The pain around or behind the kneecap can be so poor it limits your ability to exercise at all, and the symptoms are likely to recur.

Of course if you’ve got a high enough pain threshold, you might try and ignore it, but this only causes the cartilage to break down, bringing you to the purpose of bone on bone get in touch with. Once this happens there’s nothing that can be done to change the destroyed cartilage.

Earlier study had identified possible risk aspects for runner’s knee that were related to biomechanics and strength, though no one could say what caused the problem in the first place.

For this work, the group studied about 1, 600 midshipmen from the U. S. Naval Academy. They looked at participants’ biomechanics whenever they first enrolled at the academy, then followed them for a number of years to find out what happened to their knees. Of these subjects, 24 women and 16 men (for a total of 40 in all) developed runner’s knee over the research period.

The researchers noticed that individuals with weaker hamstring muscles were second . 9 times more likely to develop runner’s knee than those with the strongest hamstrings.
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Weaker quadriceps were 5. 5 times more likely to suffer runner’s knee than those with stronger muscles in this area. Those with a bigger navicular drop, the measure of arch flattening when having weight were 3. 4 times more prone to have runner’s knee.

Finally, those with smaller knee flexion angle (knees that bent less on landing after a jump test) were 3. 1 times more likely to have this bothersome condition.

Lead researcher Padua feels that the pain that comes with runner’s leg might be explained by all these factors coming together to create a focal point of pressure between the kneecap and the bone underneath.

The UNC work appears in the November 2009 issue from the American Journal of Sports Medication and does bring some good news.

If you change the way you move, and function to improve your leg strength, you might be able to prevent or even correct the issue. If you’re wondering about your own danger, Padua suggests three questions in order to ask…

– Does the leg cross over the big toe when squatting?

– Do the arches of the ft collapse when landing from a jump?

– Do you bend your knees a lot when your land?

If you answer “yes” to these questions, you may stand a better chance of developing runner’s knee.

To assist yourself if you’ve got runner’s knee already there are things you can do to speed recovery. Rest the knee as much as you can. Ice the knee for twenty to 30 minutes every 3-4 hrs for a few days to reduce pain and swelling.

Use an elastic bandage, shoulder straps or sleeves to compress your knee and give it extra support, arch supports for your shoes also may help with flat feet. Keep your leg elevated when you’re sitting or lying down and take anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, Aleve or Motrin that will also help with pain and welling.

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