Runner’s knee or ‘chondromalacia patella’ is a condition in which the cartilage on the back of the knee cap starts to degenerate. It can be classed as a type of arthritis. This is particularly prevalent in people who do a lot of exercise such as running and cycling, hence the name. However, people who do not do this kind of exercise may also suffer from it as well. The problem can start with a muscle imbalance in the quadriceps muscle at the front of the thigh that causes the back of the knee cap to rub against the knee joint.
Typically, pain starts during or after exercise in the front of the knee. This tends to become gradually worse over months or years. The pain is persistent and does not tend to allow regular exercise to continue.
Runner’s knee requires a careful and expert diagnosis by a trained professional. It is a common presentation in clinic and where appropriate, receives careful and expert treatment. Firstly an assessment and analysis is performed to establish how serious the problem is and then, if appropriate, gentle treatment is performed to stabilize structures, reduce inflammation, and facilitate the healing of the structures causing the symptoms.
Unfortunately the damage cannot be reversed but gentle techniques along with mobilizing, stretching and strengthening can restore function and decrease pain and immobility. Please call to talk to a trained professional if you want to know more.