What is Runner's Knee And How To Deal With It
Runner's Knee (or the fancier version Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) ) is the biggest problem for runners. I am one of them, dealing with this issue for the last 3,5-4 months. The stress that is caused by running, cause problems later on where you patella (knee cap) rests on your thighbone. Especially if you have not so strong hips, it is definitely gonna happen to you too. There is further explanation about why/how this may happen. So you can have a look at this article too by WebMD or another article by Runner's World. Don't you worry, you are not alone in this. Happens to almost every runner.
Even if you are injured, you may not feel anything while running, the pain might go away. Believe me, it comes back. After your body cools down, the chronic pain creeps in.
There are some hip strengthening exercises you can try to get stronger hips that will eventually help you to beat this Runner's Knee issue. Here is a list of four exercises I personally do everyday, and I hope it helps you as well.
1. Glute Bridges
During this move you will lie on your back on the ground with your arms at your sides, while your knees are bent and feet flat. Then lift your back side off the ground until you have a straight line from you shoulders to the knees. Push your heels into the ground, and feel your glutes stabilizing your body. Hold for 2 seconds, and then lower your body back down and repeat 10 times.
2. Fire Hydrant
Your hands and knees will be on the floor, same as the table top position. Support your weight with your knees and hands on the floor. Lift your right knee directly to the side, keeping it flexed at 90 degrees. Bring it back to the original position, repeat 15 times and switch sides. I find this movement very effective.
3. Hip Abduction
You will stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a chair to the left of your body. Loop a resistance band around the chair and your right ankle. Keep your leg straight, raise your right leg sideways as far as possible. Repeat this 8–10 times and switch sides.
4. Side Leg Lifts
Lay down on your right side with your legs straight and on top of each other. Rest your head on top of your right arm, and put your left hand on your hip or on the ground to help balance your body. Lift the top leg straight up as far as is comfortable and lower back down. Repeat this 10 times, and switch sides.
These moves takes about 10 to 12 minutes and you can repeat them as much as you want during the day. I would suggest, if the pain is still there definitely see a doctor, and seek physical therapy. It is not fun to have chronic pain all the time, so definitely do not ignore it. The pain may go away if you stop running, but as long as you get back to running, the pain will come right back as well.
I hope this helps you guys a little bit. If you have additional moves that you do, different than these 4 moves above, please do let me know.