Knee pain in runners may lead to hip weakness without treatment
Novice runners, especially females, are at a greater risk of developing hip muscle weakness following misalignment of the kneecap. For many years, it was believed that hip muscle weakness lead to patellofemoral pain (Runner’s Knee). According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, a recent study suggests that the injury starts with patellofemoral pain and that may lead to hip weakness.
Patellofemoral pain, also known as Runner’s Knee, is a common injury to the knee. It involves improper movement of the knee-cap (patella). The underside of the patella is keeled, like a boat and it glides in a groove. When the patella does not track correctly in the grove, it can rub on the sides of the groove. That causes injury and pain. The chronic pain and injury can weaken neighboring muscles. This condition is fully treated with safe, effective, chiropractic care (as long as you find the right chiropractor).
I agree with the researchers in the study. In my 20+ years of treating injuries, including countless cases of patellofemoral pain, I have found that hip weakness typically follows untreated patellofemoral pain, instead of preceding it, as some therapists suggest. I have developed specific treatment protocols to reduce knee pain associated with patellofemoral pain and knee-cap misalignment. My treatment protocols include:
- Physiotherapy to reduce inflammation of the soft tissue.
- Muscle balancing to improve proper movement of the patella.
- Manipulation to improve joint biomechanics.
- Nutritional instruction to support the regrowth of cartilage and ligaments of the knee.
- Kinesiotape for supporting muscle weakness during recovery.
In my clinical judgement, runners who are experiencing any knee or hip pain need to be evaluated by a chiropractor who is specializing in pain syndromes and athletic injuries.
If you are a runner, stop by our office and visit with one of our doctors and see what can be done to improve your knees now, and save your hips for later.
Featured image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Praisaeng