Runner’s Knee

Learn More About Your Painful Knee Condition Below

Knee Pain Relief

Runner’s Knee or Golfer’s Knee Pain?

Runner’s Knee is a common condition in San Antonio, Schertz, Round Rock and Austin TX.


Chondromalacia patellae – Runner’s Knee is an inflammation of the underside of the patella and softening of the cartilage.


The cartilage under the kneecap is a natural shock absorber, and overuse, injury, and many other factors can cause increased deterioration and breakdown of the cartilage. The cartilage is no longer smooth and therefore movement and use is very painful. While it often affects young individuals engaged in active sports, it also afflicts older adults who overwork their knees.


Chondromalacia patellae is sometimes used synonymously with patellofemoral pain syndrome. However, there is general consensus that patellofemoral pain syndrome applies only to individuals without cartilage damage. This condition is also known as Chondrosis. The term literally translates to softening (malakia) of cartilage (chondros) behind patella in Greek.

The condition may result from acute injury to the patella or chronic friction between the patella and a groove in the femur through which it passes during knee flexion. Possible causes include a tight iliotibial band, neuromas, bursitis, overuse, malalignment, core instability, and patellar maltracking.


Pain at the front or inner side of the knee is common in adults of all ages especially when engaging in soccer, gymnastics, cycling, rowing, tennis, ballet, basketball, horseback riding, volleyball, running, combat sports, figure skating, snowboarding, skateboarding and even swimming. The pain is typically felt after prolonged sitting. Skateboarders most commonly experience this injury in their non-dominant foot due to the constant kicking and twisting required of it. Swimmers acquire it doing the breaststroke, which demands an unusual motion of the knee. People who are involved in an active lifestyle with high impact on the knees are at greatest risk. Proper management of physical activity may help prevent worsening of the condition. Athletes are advised to talk to a physician for further medical diagnosis, as symptoms may be similar to more serious problems within the knee. Tests are not necessarily needed for diagnosis, but in some situations they may confirm diagnosis or rule out other causes for pain. Commonly used tests are blood tests, MRI scans, and arthroscopy.


While the term chondromalacia sometimes refers to abnormal-appearing cartilage anywhere in the body, it most commonly denotes irritation of the underside of the kneecap (or “patella”). The patella’s posterior surface is covered with a layer of smooth cartilage, which the base of the femur normally glides smoothly against when the knee is bent. However, in some individuals the kneecap tends to rub against one side of the knee joint, irritating the cartilage and causing knee pain.

In the absence of cartilage damage, pain at the front of the knee due to overuse can be managed with a combination of RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), anti-inflammatory medications, and physiotherapy.

Usually chondromalacia develops without swelling or bruising and most individuals benefit from rest and adherence to an appropriate physical therapy program. Allowing inflammation to subside while avoiding irritating activities for several weeks is followed by a gradual resumption. Cross-training activities such as swimming – using strokes other than the breaststroke – can help to maintain general fitness and body composition. This is beneficial until a physical therapy program emphasizing strengthening and flexibility of the hip and thigh muscles can be undertaken. Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication is also helpful to minimize the swelling amplifying patellar pain. Treatment with surgery is declining in popularity due to positive non-surgical outcomes and the relative ineffectiveness of surgical intervention. That’s why custom fitted shoe insoles can help prevent knee pain and swelling on top of the above suggestions.


About Golfer’s Knee

Next to lower back pain, the knee is the most commonly injured joint in golf. This is because the golf swing places a tremendous amount of torque on the structure of the knee.


Studies show that it would actually be less stressful to jog the eighteen holes of golf than play them! The force that the golf swing exerts on the knee is more powerful than the force exerted on the knee of a jogger. The golf swing actually exerts a force on the knee that is 4.5 times the golfer’s body weight on the forward knee and 3.2 times body weight on the other knee. This happens very quickly since it only takes approximately 0.23 seconds for a pro-golfer to complete the downward swing and 0.82 seconds to complete the upward swing. The downward swing is therefore about 3½ times faster and produces the highest percentage of injuries in amateur and pro golfers alike.


The top three golf-related injuries are:

Meniscal and ligament tears
Tendonitis and tendinopathy
Provocation of degenerative change/osteoarthritis.
Professional golfers on many occasions have had arthroscopic knee surgery and ACL repairs. It’s quite common actually!

How to avoid golf-related knee injuries:
Problems are related to the amount of rotation through the body that is required during the back swing and follow-through. Ensure the muscles in your hips, low and mid back are flexible. By allowing full rotation to occur through the back, hips and knees, you can minimize stress.


Maintaining healthy knee joints in general:

Eat healthily and maintain an ideal BMI
Make sure you do proper stretching and strengthening exercises.
Follow a regular exercise program, and don’t forget exercises that help flexibility and balance.
Always use good footwear and equipment
During driving setup, rotate the lead leg out to the side, 20 to 40˚, in order to reduce the amount of twisting and pressure on the knee during the final stages of the swing
Use a ball retriever


Returning to golf after a knee injury:

Maintain a more upright stance if possible
Practice at a driving range with wedges and short irons only
Start with short swings (half and three-quarter), working up to a full swing progressively
Use golf shoes with arch supports that are custom fitted orthotics
Stretch and do strengthening exercises, including icepacks
Knee braces give good temporary relief, but are not ideal in the long-term, as they can weaken muscles and affect proprioception. Cycling and rowing are best in the recovery phase
Wear professionally fitted orthotic shoe inserts or arch supports inside your golf shoes to bring proper weight distribution during the demanding stress of golf swings.


Best Feet professionally fit orthotic shoe arch supports provide immediate pain relief related to this condition. Our pain relief experts are here for you with a free evaluation and balance test with no obligation. Don’t live in pain, book online, call or just walk in for same-day relief!


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