Runner’s Knee – Chondromalacia
Chondromalacia or Runner’s Knee is really a common problem in young sports people. In the following document we discuss the causes, symptoms and treatment options of this complaint which a great number of younger sports people will probably go through at some period in their lives. Treatments can vary from pain killers to knee surgery.
Chondromalacia is a term used to describe the wearing down of the cartilage underneath the kneecap. If the cartilage material under the kneecap deteriorates and wears away it can result in pain. Healthy cartilage works like a shock absorber but if subjected to too much stress can wear away.
Soreness felt in the knee when squatting or climbing stairs is a very common sign of Runner’s Knee. Chondromalacia is not a affliction limited to older individuals but is common in younger people, and in particular, athletes. People taking part in sports activities such as volleyball, running, cycling and rowing, to name a few, are candidates for Runner’s Knee. Also people whose employment depends on using their legs and knees to a significant degree could suffer from this condition.
Runner’s Knee can also develop if the knee or patella has been subjected to an accident or trauma.
Symptoms and Signs of Chondromalacia – Runner’s Knee
The principal symptom associated with Chondromalacia is pain in the front of the knee. Frequently the front of the knee can feel sensitive accompanied by a dull ache. If you are suffering from Chondromalacia, you can quite often hear a grinding noise coming from the knee as the cartilage and bone rub. This is most noticeable when you fold your legs. Chondromalacia can also result in swelling of the knee area.
Causes of Chondromalacia or Runner’s Knee
Stressing the knee by subjecting it to overuse is the major cause. In the case of young people it is commonly brought on by some kind of trauma to knee area thus leading to the knee pain. Landing on the feet awkwardly and turning the feet inwards causing the knee to twist laterally could possibly also cause Runner’s Knee.
Badly fitted shoes can be an additional cause of Runner’s knee particularly if sport is involved and the knee is subjected to extra strain due to the footwear.
Arthritis is one more reason for this problem, especially in older people. Age may result in wearing the cartilage away bringing about pain and soreness.
Treatment of Chondromalacia – Runner’s Knee
Treating Chondromalacia begins with halting most physical activities and resting the knee. It is strongly recommended to stop any activities that induce soreness or swelling of the knee.
SHORT TERM RELIEF OF RUNNER’S KNEE
It’s quite common for pain-killers to be recommended to help reduce the pain.
Short-term relief can be obtained by using ice packs and pain relieving creams.
LONG TERM RELIEF FOR RUNNER’S KNEE
However, for long term relief, your doctor will usually recommend specific workout plans that can strengthen the muscles around the knee. These are specially designed to not strain or stress the knee.
Knee surgery to scrape the cartilage could possibly be suggested as a last resort. Called arthroscopy this has proven to be highly effective when nothing else gives relief. Sometimes surgeons also open the kneecap and realign the kneecap as well as reduce the pressure on the cartilage.
Maintaining a solid level of fitness and incorporating stretching exercises into your fitness routine will help to keep your knee joints healthy so that Chondromalacia will not become a problem.