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Have you heard about Runner’s Knee? A surprising fact about Runner’s Knee is that it can actually affect anyone, not just runners. Runner’s Knee is also known more formally in the medical community as patellofemoral pain syndrome. This syndrome is characterized by pain in the front, around, or behind the kneecap. The pain is often felt when you bend your knee to walk, squat or run. The pain feels increasingly worse when you are walking downhill. You may experience minor swelling as you experience this knee pain. If this sounds familiar, there are a number of short-term and long-term treatments you can use to ease your Runner’s Knee pain.

Fast and Effective Ways to Reduce Runner’s Knee Pain: Applying RICE to the Knee

1. Rest

Overuse is the most common cause of Runner’s Knee pain. The name originated after runners were consistently plagued with this pain and strain after running long distances placed excessive stress on their knees. Other leg exercises such as lunges, squats, or plyometrics lengthen and shorten the muscles to boost power and end up irritating tissues around the knee cap. Resting the knees allow these tissues to repair and helps reduce swelling.

 

2. Ice

Another quick way to reduce swelling in the knee is by applying ice to the affected area. Cold therapy works by reducing blood flow to the area, which then reduces inflammation and swelling that is causing pain. Icing inflamed joints or tendons is especially effective. Simply freeze an ice pack, wrap it in a thin cloth, and place it on your knee for 30 minutes at a time.

 

3. Compression

If you’re experiencing knee pain, use a compression band around the affected knee or knees. Compression bandages work similarly to cold therapy by applying pressure that minimizes swelling and prevents fluids from gathering around the point of injury. You can wear compression bands under your clothing to stabilize the knee when it still hurts to walk or bend your legs. 

 

4. Elevation

The final fast and easy way to reduce Runner’s Knee pain is by elevating your knee. When elevating your knee, make sure your knee is above the level of your heart; this helps blood travel back to the heart. If you’re elevating your knee throughout the day and are unable to reach this level, be sure that the knee is elevated at least parallel to the ground. The gravity that results from this elevation helps reduce swelling and improve circulation.

TENS Pad Placement for Shoulder Pain

Long-Term Ways to Reduce Runner’s Knee Pain

 

If you regularly engage in high-stress exercises that place pressure on your knees, there are a number of things you can do to reduce Runner’s Knee pain long-term.

 

1. Focus on Weight Management

If you’re overweight or obese your joints are under greater stress. Losing weight and managing a healthy BMI can reduce stress on the knees and prevent knee pain long-term. 

 

2. Stretch and Strengthen

Strengthening your muscles can help support your knee and increase flexibility. If you’re worried about straining your knee opt for low-impact aerobic exercises like swimming, cycling, or the elliptical machine at the gym.

 

3. Try Acupuncture

Have you tried this traditional Chinese medicine? Acupuncture is a form of pain relief that uses fine needles in tender points of the body. The Acupuncturist will insert the needles around the knee area to alleviate pressure and reduce swelling.

 

4. Invest in Insoles and Supportive Shoes

Cushioned insoles can reduce stress on the knees with every step. Speak to your doctor or physical therapist to find the appropriate insoles for you. We recommend DR-HO’S Anti Pressure Insoles which use 110 unique pressure-sensitive air pumps to provide relief for knee, ankle and foot pain. 

 

5. Take NSAIDs

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a drug class that reduce pain, decrease fever, prevent blood clots and, in higher doses, decrease inflammation. Consult with your doctor and determine if NSAIDs could help decrease the pain induced by Runner’s Knee.

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