Dealing with Runner’s Knee Pain

As your mileage picks up this spring, you might start to experience a dull pain in your knees. This pain is often diagnosed as Runner’s Knee, known medically as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS). Knee injuries are one of the most common orthopedic problems, especially for people performing in high impact sports like running, soccer or ultimate frisbee.

The symptoms of Runner’s Knee are easy to spot: When you take your first strides, you will probably notice pain around the kneecap that may subside during the run but return once you are finished. Swelling or stiffness mar occur.

If you catch it early, the easiest cure is to cut your mileage down significantly or stop running all together for at least several weeks. Stretching, rolling out your legs, icing, and checking to make sure you are wearing the proper footwear are other helpful solutions.

However, if you have already tried these methods and the pain continues, you may have an acute or chronic injury that cannot be solved without proper medical diagnosis and treatment. An MRI may be necessary to determine the extent of the problem.

Some form of active treatment may be necessary because once the knee pain becomes recurrent, you may have damage to the cartilage in your knee. Pain, swelling, and stiffness are clues, especially after rest, activity modification, and the use of anti-inflammatories.

As a runner, there is nothing worse than putting your training on hold, especially when you are gearing up for a race. At this point, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with Dr. Kelly Cunningham at Austin Ortho+Biologics.

Kelly Cunningham, MD. a board certifies orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist,  can provide several innovative treatment pathways that may help restore the cartilage health and function, decrease pain and promote healing. He specializes not just in acute and chronic injuries of the knee, but also shoulder, hip, ankle injuries, as well as the treatment (without joint replacement) of joint pain and arthritis as well.

Physical therapy, runner’s orthotics, and occasionally natural restorative injections of PRP or stem cells can restore the health of your knee. This is the hallmark of the exciting new field of regenerative sports medicine. While steroid and “lubricant” injections provide temporary relief, these natural substances from your own body are a better long-term answer.

See the experts at Austin Ortho+Biologics and let Dr. Cunningham help get you back to running in time for your next event. Develop a plan to come back stronger so that you can keep logging those miles without knee pain or loss of the enjoyment of the run!