Runner's Knee - Patellar Chondromalacia
Patellar chondromalacia, also known as "Runner's Knee" or Patellofemoral Syndrome, occurs when the smooth cartilage enabling the femur and kneecap to glide smoothly over one another becomes irritated or damaged and begins to deteriorate. The cartilage may soften, crack or blister resulting in pain and inflammation. This damage is caused by regular wear and tear or by repetitive trauma due to leg muscles weakening or tightening and the patella (kneecap) becoming misaligned.
Causes of Chondromalacia
When functioning normally, the quadriceps (thigh) muscles pull the patella over the end of the femur in a straight line. Misalignment of the kneecap due to anatomical abnormalities such as unbalanced muscle strength or overpronation (when feet rotate inward) can cause improper lateral force on the patella. As the kneecap slides over the femur abnormally, it grates along the femur causing irritation, inflammation and pain.
Runner's Knee can also be caused by overuse of the knee. Due to repetitve knee rotations while biking, many cyclists experience chondromalacia resulting in chronic knee pain, usually located below the kneecap.
Who is at Risk?
Chondromalacia is a condition often suffered by young athletes who perform repetitive knee movements such as cycling, running, or jumping. Knock-kneed individuals and flat-footed runners are at greatest risk as these conditions cause the patella to align toward the outer (lateral) side of the femur. As well, a larger percentage of women suffer from patellar chondromalacia due to anatomical differences between men and women that cause women to experience increased lateral forces on the kneecap.
Patellar Chondromalacia patients complain of pain or discomfort under or around the sides of the kneecap. The pain often increases when using stairs, running up hill, jumping, getting out of a chair or when participating in other activities that put weight on the knee. A grinding feeling and/or sound may also occur when trying to straighten the knee. Swelling may also occur along with the pain and inflammation in the knee joint. These symptoms are caused by the degeneration of cartilage and the resulting irritation. Fortunately, doctors believe the damage can be repaired.
If these symptoms become chronic, weakened quadriceps muscles may allow the leg to give out which can cause further injury to the knee or leg.
Treatment - What You Can Do!
When inflammation and tenderness caused by patellar chondromalacia occur, an initial program of rest, Cold Compression via use of the Knee Freezie Wrap® is recommended to reduce the pain and inflammation. Once inflammation has been reduced, Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy via use of the Knee Inferno Wrap® can speed healing and nourish muscle tissue to prepare it for strenghtening.
To prevent further damage to the cartilage, avoid impact exercises and movement that irritates the patella until the muscle strength increases. Selective exercises that strengthen the inner quadriceps muscles are recommended to straighten the movement of the patella over the femur.
Cold Compression Therapy
The Knee Freezie Wrap® is the cold compression tool you need to treat your knee pain and inflammation in an effective and convenient way.
Cold Compression works by interrupting and slowing nerve and cell function in the damaged area. This is important because once blood vessels are damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood to the damaged tissue and cells begin to break-down.
The deep cold provided by the Knee Freezie Wrap® slows cell function thereby reducing cellular break-down. Furthermore, because the cold wraps serve to numb the nerves, the wraps also reduce pain! The Knee Freezie Wrap uses a deep cold gel pack with a medical-grade neoprene compression cover to keep the ice off the skin preventing cryoburn and to keep the cold in the area that you need it.
Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy
After the inflammation and swelling is gone you can begin to treat your patellar tendon with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy, or BFST. BFST increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your knee to nourish cartilage, tendons, ligaments and muscles to speed healing.
By treating yourself with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy you can increase your body's blood supply to the knee and your body's natural healing power. In addition, the fresh blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins that have built up from the injury leaving the area clean and able to heal faster. Our Knee Inferno Wrap® provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects.
During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your knee area until your pain and inflammation settle. With these 3 easy-to-use therapies, you will notice incredible improvement in your knee condition and pain. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results and the sooner you can return to the activities you enjoy - without pain!
Learn More About These SUPERIOR Knee Treatments
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