Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

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Millions of people suffer from patellofemoral pain syndrome or what is more commonly known as runner’s knee. There are several ways to help you over the pain and agony of this common ailment. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is pain that is felt in the front of the knee.  Runners get it because they over use their knee or they run on hard surfaces such as roads or concrete. The pounding damages the cartilage under the kneecap.  Athletes, teenagers, and sometimes manual laborers suffer from the painful ailment, too. Being overweight can also give you patellofemoral pain syndrome as can an injury to the knee that knocks it out of alignment. Sometimes all you have to do is ram your knee into your desk and it will damage the cartilage.  It won’t go away on its own. You’ll need to do physical therapy, stretches, and maybe even surgery to correct the problem. If you have knee problems for more than a week and the pain has not lessened, you should see a doctor about it.  The sooner you find out what the problems is the faster you will heal. Letting it go because you want to be tough is not a good idea.  You need to do some stretching of the leg and knee.  It’s best not to do exercise while you’re in pain.  It will only keep it swollen and inflamed. After the swelling goes down you can do some strengthening workouts. Using cold packs on the top of the knee for 10 minutes will help, especially if you follow it with a hot pack for 5 minutes.  Do this off and on throughout the day.  It helps bring down the swelling and brings new blood to the area.  Inflammation causes the blood to stagnate, which keeps the injured area inflamed instead of healing the injury.  You might also need to wear a knee brace for a while.  Knee braces can help improve the overall stability of your knee. Surgery is not normally needed unless there is more going on under the knee than cartilage damage. It can also become a chronic injury if you don’t do anything to prevent re-injuring your knee. Do some stretches to warm it up before you do any physical activity such as Hamstring stretches.  Use a chair, bench, or step and put your heel on it and lean forward until you feel the stretch to the back of the leg.  Keep your foot pointed as far to your body as possible.  Hold thestretch for 30 to 60 seconds. Do at least 3 to 5 reps before going on your run or playing with the kids in the yard.  Doing this stretch warms up the area, so you don’t damage it during physical activity. You can also do some straight leg lifts. Lie on the floor and lift your leg off the ground until its level with your head. Keep the knee slightly bend. Do 10 to 15 reps 10 times before any physical activity. Of course, it’s best not to injure the knee in the first place by doing these and other stretches before any activities.  If you do develop patellofemoral pain syndrome, be sure to visit your doctor just to make sure there is no other damage under your knee.   Topics:  patellofemoral pain syndrome, knee braces

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