If you've been running at all and your knee starts hurting, you may start googling your symptoms and come across the term called runner's knee. But you're not sure exactly what that is. Well, today we're going to talk about exactly what is Runner's knee.
I'm Jessie Funk and on today's episode of Runner's High, I want to talk about Runner's knee. Although it's a little bit of a misnomer, much like tennis elbow doesn't just affect tennis players, runner's knee is not just going to affect runners. The first thing to understand is that runners knee is kind of a catch-all term. It's not actually a diagnosable thing. When you say I have runner's knee, it means I run and my knee hurts, which isn't very good at describing what your particular issue is.
Runner's knee really comes in two varieties. I'm sure there are other things that could be problems with your knees, but in general, these are the two most common things and that is IT band syndrome and patellofemoral pain syndrome. The quick version to which is more likely to bother you is where is the pain actually located. Your IT band runs a longer quad and attaches to the side of your knee. So, if you're having pain in this kind of area where you can kind of massage it out and make it feel a little bit better, it is most likely related to your IT band.
Now this is actually going to be a little more prevalent in cyclists and people that do other things besides running, but it still can happen with runners. I know in college, one of the trainers that I saw described somebody who had IT band syndrome so bad that you could see they kind of almost I’ll say cleave but divide their muscles because the IT band was so tight. So, you want to be paying attention to that, if it's on that side is probably the IT band.
Conversely, if the pain is in your knee cap also known as your patella, right in this area, then you know that is probably not IT band syndrome and it is something that's going to be more focused on an issue with your patella or your kneecap. Both of these conditions can be brought on by overuse or potentially an acute injury. But most of the time, it's going to be something that kind of sneaks up on you over time that you just haven't paid attention to. Especially in the case of your IT band, one of the preventive measures you can take is to massage it out or get a stick.
I talked about this in other episodes where there are tools that you can use to deal with that kind of pain and really kind of all your muscles through massage. If you can't go to a masseuse, which gets expensive if you're going all the time; it's good to get a massage tool, foam roller sticks, those kind of things to massage out various ailments. Now with your patella, that's going to be a whole other set of issues, but making sure you’re wearing good shoes is a first measure in making sure that your needs are taken care of.
As with a lot of these types of videos, there are other things that could be going on with their knee, as I mentioned in the beginning, that these two things I mentioned, are going to be the most common. But if it's an acute injury, meaning you whacked your knee on something and it hurts really bad and that pain has continued over time. Or you've got swelling or numbness, or your knee is locking, then something else is probably going on. As I always say in these kind of videos, subscribe to the channel, but more importantly, go see a doctor if you've got those kind of symptoms.
A doctor cannot be replaced by somebody like me, as much as I like my face and like to spend time with you, I'm simply not a replacement for a doctor. So, a doctor is going to be able to tell you what's going on with you and the specific treatment for your particular case. So, if you have any questions about running, whether it's injury-related, stories, how to train better; let me know in the comments below. Leave me a comment. I'd love to do video just for you. I'll see you next time on the next episode of Runner's High.