Runners Knee and Chondromalacia Information

Runners Knee and Chondromalacia Information

Runner’s knee is term used to collectively describe a number of medical occurrences that cause pain under the kneecap from an irritation of the inside surface of the kneecap - chondromalacia patella, patellar malalignment, anterior knee pain syndrome, and patellofemoral pain syndrome. These terms are often used interchangeably because the affected area, causative action, risk factors, treatment, and so forth are alike.

 

Anatomy As It Relates To Runner’s Knee

The knee joint is a complicated structure and is the largest joint in the human body. The femur and tibia meet at the knee to from this hinge joint. The patella (kneecap) protects the front of the knee joint. Articular cartilage covers the ends of the tibia and femur and the underside of the patella. With the lateral and medial meniscus (pads of cartilage), the articular cartilage cushions the knee joint and absorbs shock between the bones. The underside of the kneecap glides over the femur as the knee is flexed and straightened. To make the action easier, the surface of the knee joint is covered in cartilage. The collateral ligaments run along either side of the knee and provide limitation for sideways motions. Its counterpart, the anterior cruciate ligament, connects the tibia and femur at the mid-line of the knee and provides limitations for rotation and forward motion of the tibia. The posterior cruciate ligament is located behind the anterior cruciate ligament and provides limitation of backward motion of the tibia. Each of these components work together to limit stress on the knee when walking, running, bending, and such.

What Causes Runner’s Knee?

The inside surface of the kneecap can become irritated (runner’s knee) if there’s too much stress on the knee from overuse and repetitive motion, injury, or misaligned bones:

Overuse

As the name infers, runners are at a high risk for pain under the kneecap due to the constant knee bending involved with the running motion. This is true for any sport that requires constant knee bending - skiing, football, biking, basketball, and so on. Repetitive flexing and straightening the knee may overstretch or tear the tendons, cause the kneecap to unnaturally rub against the knee joint, or irritate the kneecap nerves; all of which result in placing additional stress on the knee and can result in pain under the kneecap. Some common causes of pain under the kneecap include the following:

Misalignment

A misalignment of the knees, legs, hips, or feet is often a cause of pain under the knee. Patella mal-tracking, where the knee often runs too low or high outside the up and down track of trochlear grove, would be an example of a misalignment. Misalignments may be genetic, as in too wide hips, but most often occur from either a former trauma or one muscle (mainly the thigh muscles) being much tighter or underdeveloped than another.

Injury

An acute direct trauma to the kneecap, such as a fracture or dislocation can result in chondromalacia.

Symptoms Of Runner’s Knee

* dull achy pain behind the kneecap
* pain may worsen with walking or running, especially if on an incline or decline like stairs.
* pain may worsen with prolonged sitting
* pain may worsen with bending the knee during a kneel or squat
* pain may worsen if the knee remains in a bent position for an extended period of time
* may feel a grinding or grating sensation upon knee extension
* may experience slight swelling
* the knee may lockup or giveaway


Strengthening Exercises

These Runner's Knee and Chondromalacia Exercises are ideal to build strength and flexibility.

Massage Treatment

These Runner's Knee and Chondromalacia Massage Techniques are of great value in pain relief; circulation stimulation; dispersing blood and fluid accumulations; swelling reduction; and relaxing muscle spasms, especially when used alongside the Sinew Therapeutics liniments and soaks.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage is characterized by swelling, redness, pain, and possibly a local sensation of heat, indicating inflammation. If coolness makes your pain feel better, then the Acute Stage Treatment is recommended.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The acute stage starts the moment an injury occurs and lasts until the swelling and inflammation are gone. The swelling is the result of the blockage of blood, tissue fluids and circulation in the knee because their normal movement has been disrupted by the force of the injury. Just like cars back up behind a traffic jam, causing congestion, exhaust and overheating; blood and fluids back up behind the injured knee, causing pain, inflammation, lumps and swelling.

The sensation of heat is due to the warming action of the blood and fluids overheating in the injured knee as they back up and accumulate. Stiffness and decreased mobility are due to spasms in tendons and ligaments that have contracted reflexively beyond their normal range from the impact of the injury.

As ligaments and tendons stretch and tear, blood from ruptured blood vessels becomes trapped in the local tissues. As the trapped blood clots up, it sticks the tissues together creating adhesions. Adhesions cause pain, inflammation and restricted movement because the layers of tissue that used to slide smoothly across one another now adhere and snap which interferes with normal functioning. It is essential to break up clotted blood as quickly as possible to prevent adhesions and scar tissue from forming.

During the acute stage it is very important to restore normal circulation to the knee, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, reduce swelling, and reduce the redness and heat associated with inflammation. By restoring the flow of blood, fluids, and circulation in the knee, then pain is relieved, damaged tissues can regenerate with healthy functional tissue, and the knee can strengthen and regain it's mobility.

 

ACUTE STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Apply the Sinew Herbal Ice on your knee to reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the knee. This first-aid treatment is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the healing process. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

Ice is not recommended because it does not help repair damaged tissues and keeps everything in the injured area frozen, causing the stagnation of blood and fluids and the contraction of muscles, tendons and ligaments. In Chinese sports medicine ice is not used and is considered a culprit in injuries that donít heal well.

2. Massage your knee with Acute Sinew Liniment to relieve pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, and stimulate circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.

 

 

CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness, and/or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If heat makes your pain feel better, then the Chronic Stage Treatment is recommended.


CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The chronic stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel aching pain and stiffness. This is because there are still accumulations of stagnant blood and fluids in the knee that are blocking circulation and blood supply to damaged tissues, creating residual pain, stiffness and weakness. You may actually feel hard nodules like sand in the tissue, indicating accumulation, calcification, and adhesions, which all cause pain, stiffness, and joint instability.

Your knee may feel more sensitive to the cold and ache in cold and damp weather due to impaired circulation. When you move your knee you may hear a clicking or popping sound from the tendons and ligaments slipping very slightly in and out of their natural alignment indicating weakness and joint instability, causing chronic pain and a cycle of reinjury. These symptoms are often the result of failure to treat the injury properly from the outset and overicing.

Increasing circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues is very important in treating chronic injuries because tendons and ligaments do not have an extensive direct supply of blood. That is why chronic injuries can be slow to heal. Increasing local circulation also prevents cold and dampness from penetrating the injured area, preventing pain and stiffness.

During the chronic stage it is very important to break up remaining accumulations of blood and fluids, and increase circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues. By increasing circulation and blood flow in the knee, then pain and stiffness is relieved, and the tendons and ligaments can strengthen to restore stability.


CHRONIC STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Massage your knee with Chronic Sinew Liniment to relieve pain and stiffness, strongly stimulate circulation and blood flow to damaged tissues, and promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. Sinew Injury Poultice and/or the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.

2. Apply the Sinew Injury Poultice on your knee to relieve residual pain and stiffness, significantly stimulate circulation and blood flow to damaged tissues, and further promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. The Sinew Injury Poultice is particularly useful if your knee is more painful in cold and damp weather. Chronic Sinew Liniment and/or the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.

3. Soak your knee with the Sinew Warming Soak to ease joint pain, increase range of motion, and strongly increase local circulation to drive coldness and dampness out of damaged tissues. The Sinew Warming Soak is particularly useful if your knee is more painful and sensitive to cold or hurts more in cold weather. The soak can be used by saturating a towel in the liquid and applying it to your knee. Chronic Sinew Liniment and/or the Sinew Injury Poultice can be used in-between applications.

4. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.