Walking is a common treatment exercise recommended by healthcare professionals to help improve a runner’s knee, otherwise known as patellofemoral pain syndrome. But is it really effective at getting rid of that pain behind the kneecap? The answer of Fivalifitness is it really depends on your situation. Let me explain more.
Understanding Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
You need to understand why patellofemoral pain syndrome happens. There’s a muscle imbalance that causes too much pressure to be developed in the knee joint. When the quads are too strong compared to other muscles in the hip and leg, it causes increased pressure on the kneecap. If this pressure persists, it can lead to inflammation, pain, and swelling of the cartilage. The most common muscle imbalance is having strong quads and weak glutes. Strengthening the glutes can help reduce pressure on the kneecap and relieve knee pain.
Testing for Muscle Imbalance
Some people have difficulty activating their glutes. To test this, try squeezing your glute muscles while sitting or standing without also tightening your quads. If you can’t do this effectively, you likely have a muscle imbalance where your quads are overactive and putting pressure on the kneecap. This can cause pain and discomfort in the knee joint.
In some cases, extreme cases, you may not even feel your glutes contracting at all. Like they don’t tighten up. And it’s probably weird for you to get the sensation of trying to think about tightening up your glutes, but your glutes don’t work and your quads work instead. That is a severe muscle imbalance and you definitely should not be doing any sort of walking for helping your patient from oral pain syndrome because you’re only going to aggravate it.
To improve patellofemoral pain syndrome, it’s important to isolate and activate your glutes without overusing your quads. Walking can be helpful if you can effectively use your glutes while walking without activating your quads too much. This takes coordination and may require specific glute isolation exercises. When you can effectively use your glutes while walking, each step puts less pressure on the kneecap and helps improve knee joint health. Walking within your tolerance can be beneficial for reducing knee pain and improving patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Prevention Options for Runner’s Knee
While treatment options are important for managing a runner’s knee, it is equally important to focus on prevention. In fact, taking steps to prevent a runner’s knee in the first place can be more effective than treating the condition once it has already developed. By incorporating prevention options into your daily routine, you can reduce your risk of developing a runner’s knee and other knee-related injuries, and maintain your physical activity level without pain or discomfort. Here are some additional details about prevention options for runner’s knee:
- Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts additional stress on the knees, increasing the risk of injury. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce this risk.
- Stretching before and after exercise: Stretching helps improve flexibility and reduce the risk of tears or strains in the muscles around the knee joint.
- Gradual increase in intensity: When starting a new exercise program, it is important to gradually increase intensity and duration to allow the body to adjust and prevent injuries.
- Proper protective gear: Wearing appropriate gear such as a knee brace with metal hinges during physical activity can provide support and cushioning to the knees, reducing the risk of injury.
- Avoiding hard surfaces: Running or walking on hard surfaces can increase the impact on the knee joint, increasing the risk of injury. Choosing softer surfaces like grass, dirt, or a track can help reduce the impact on the knees.
- Listening to your body: Paying attention to any pain or discomfort during physical activity and adjusting accordingly can help prevent injuries from becoming more severe.