The Green Girl Has Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner's Knee)

My doctor has diagnosed me with patellofemoral pain syndrome which is more commonly known as "runner's knee." Now that almost a week has passed, my wandering knee pain has settled right above my knee.

Patellofemoral pain can be caused by a number of factors including overuse and overload of the patellofemoral joint, biomechanical problems and muscular dysfunction. Quadriceps strengthening is the most commonly prescribed treatment but I believe my quadriceps are pretty strong from doing hundreds of squats each week. In my case, I believe overpronation and tight calves and hamstrings are the culprits. My doctor also said my piriformis muscles are insanely tight.

He said if I wanted, I could use a patella strap just below my knee to help ease the pain when I'm running. I did a little online research and it appears the Pro-Tech Athletics brand Knee Pro-Tec Patellar Tendon Strap is the most popular.

I'm hesitant to go out and buy a patellar strap because this doctor is not a sports medicine specialist (I cannot afford to see an orthopedic surgeon right now because I don't have any health insurance). When I was seeing an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in sports medicine before, he said he preferred for his patients to correct their knee problems without the help of a brace whenever possible. He felt relying on the brace could do more damage than good if the person became too dependent on the brace.

For now, I'm going to do as much stretching and strength training as possible. I found a set of rehabiliation exercises and I ran across this blog describing some physical therapy procedures for runner's knee.

While not directly related to my current patellofemoral pain syndrome, I ran across the cutest stretches for runners web page ever. Look at how happy Mr. Stickman is!


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