Runners Knee Swelling

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There are many factors that may contribute to runner’s knee symptoms.

It is a very common injury among runners and is identified by a pain in the front of the knee, on the kneecap. The pain occurs when the cartilage on the underside of the patella, the kneecap, rubs the femoral groove in the femur, the thighbone.

The term "runner's knee" is another term for patellofemoral pain syndrome.

It can also be identified when your knee swells up after placing pressure on the knee joint when exercising, such as running.  

In this article I am going to take a quick look at what could be causing your runners knee swelling and some measures you can take to prevent it from happening in the future. 

Runners Knee Swelling - A Closer Look

swollen runners knee

Sometimes the simplest questions can be the most difficult to answer. If you’ve been worried about your knee becoming swollen, you’re not alone. It’s one of the most common knee problems out there. But what is causing your knee to become swollen?

What is causing my knee to become swollen? 

Many causes of knee swelling exist, but the most common are arthritis, a sprain, runners knee and potentially gout.  

Arthritis, or osteoarthritis (OA), is the most common cause of intermittent knee swelling. The cartilage in the joint can become damaged and inflamed, which can cause fluid to build up under the kneecap and cause the knee to become swollen.

A sprain is a common injury that can cause a person’s knee to swell. When the ligaments around the knee are damaged, the knee may become injured. If this occurs, the knee will swell in order to protect the joint.

Runners knee is, as I discussed earlier, is when the cartilage on the underside of the patella rubs against the femur bone.  This causes friction and causing swelling around the knee. 

How to Treat my Swollen Runners Knee

Swollen knees are the bane of many runners. I know this all too well, because I too am a runner.  Fortunately, there are many ways to treat a swollen knee.

I’ve tried these methods to treat my swollen knee:

  • Take pain killers - swelling usually goes hand in hand with pain.  While your body is trying to deal with the issues in your knee, there is no point in you suffering through the pain.  Take some pain killers!
  • Applying ice - is helpful in reducing the swelling that is occurring in your knee.  It also can help to reduce pain. 
  • Elevating - raising your knee above your head helps to draw the blood away from your knee.  This will help to reduce the swelling and minimize the lactic acid build up. 
  • Using a heating pad - once you have rested, elevated and cooled your knee down (generally a couple of hours after you notice the swelling), you can then begin the recuperation of your knee by applying heat to the knee joint. This helps to draw blood the injured area and bring much-needed oxygen to repair the injury. 
  • Use a Knee Brace - the right knee brace will help compress and support your knee joint to prevent any further injury occurring to your knee. They are a versatile and economical method of recovery for any injuries to the knee.  Check out our buyer's guide to the best knee brace for running to make sure you choose the right brace for your circumstances. 

Final Thoughts on Runners Knee Swelling

There are many potential causes of runner’s knee, and it is often difficult to determine the exact cause of the pain. If you are experiencing runner’s knee or any other health concern, make sure to speak to your doctor.  

If you would like to find out more about runner's knee check out our in depth article that explores everything you need to know about runners knee

Article written by Best Knee Braces

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