Bhavana Reddy, a Kaiser Permanente PT, warns that runner’s knee “can come back if runners don’t change their shoes appropriately. Changing shoes, gradual training and proper stretching and strengthening exercises are good preventative actions. Purchasing shoes from a specialty running store is a good idea as well.” She also adds that icing can be helpful, but that runners sometimes “overdo it,” icing too long or too frequently which can mask pain or injury.
Fortunately, if it’s not too painful, you can still run with runner’s knee.
You will have to take time for stretching and adding in some strength exercises. “You may need to run less often, with less intensity or fewer miles, or replace some weekly runs with a cross training activity,” suggests Reddy.
Dr. Anita Rao sums it up nicely. “Overall people with runner’s knee have to be patient and follow their exercise and treatment program diligently. The symptoms may take some time to improve. It can be really frustrating for otherwise healthy patients who want to be better quickly.”
Frustrating, yes; but taking care of the pain and the problem now will mean you’re back on the road (or trail) soon and with less pain!