- Runner’s knee – Exercises you should do (and avoid) in Chondromalacia Patella
You walk a flight of stairs and you get the the most excruciating pain of your life in your knees!
Chances are, you have Chondromalacia Patella.
Sounds alien? Alright, let’s dive into it.
Chondromalacia is also known as Runner’s knee. No points for guessing why. It is a condition where the cartilage of the patella (the knee) wears out because of excessive usage. It is associated with excessive running and jumping. Reason why it’s also known as Runner’s Knee. It’s technically incurable and people often take injections and undergo many surgeries and still see no benefit in the long run. The pain never goes away.
Normally lower body activity is put to rest because of the pain it can cause because of exercises like squats and leg press. However this doesn’t mean that you have nothing in your hands or that you’ve lost the game. Runner’s knee can get better with light physical activity which works your knee to a certain extent without overdoing it, and a balanced strengthening of the muscles associated with your leg movement can also help, especially muscles like the quadriceps and the hamstring.
While high impact exercises may be out of bounds for you, the following exercises can help strengthen the leg movement muscles that in turn may help to alleviate the pain in the patella.
1. The Clam – The clam is performed by lying on your side with the knees together, bent at right angle with the shin. Now keeping the heels together, lift the knee of the top leg with your hip on the ground, as high as you can, hold for 2 seconds and bring it back.
Perform 10 repetitions, 3 sets for each side.
2. Wall slide – It looks like a partial squat, with the wall on your back as support. Don’t go below the knee plane when you slide down. Hold your position for 4-5 seconds before coming back up.
10 repetitions, 3 sets each side.
3. Quadricep contraction– Lie down facing the ceiling, with a foam roll under your knee. Now lift that leg up, keeping in contact with the foam roller. Do not lift your entire leg up. There’s no hip flexion involved, just knee bend.
10 repetitions, 3 sets each side
4. Deadlifts – Light weighted deadlifts (with light dumbbells) can help strengthen your leg muscles. Perform stiff legged and conventional deadlifts both. However, take care not to overdo it.
5. Pilates – Pilates are doable with Runner’s Knee since it involves no high impact movements.
6. Yoga – Yoga is also one of the physical activities that can be done with Runner’s Knee.
7. Elliptical trainer – The elliptical trainer works out your knees very lightly since the range of motion is limited and also since it does not have any high intensity movements. Hence it is safe for Runner’s Knee
While the above exercises can benefit and are doable in Runner’s Knee, there are however some exercises that should totally be avoided so that no further damage is caused:
6. Leg extension
Along with this, Nutrition plays a very important role in the rehabilitation, recovery and reduction of inflammation.
Include the following in your diet:
1. Dairy products
2. Fish, Meat, Eggs, whey, paneer, cheese and soya to meet protein needs
3. Nuts like almonds and walnuts
4. Omega 3 – Fish oil, flaxseeds
5. Vitamin C – lemon, amla and supplements
6. Multivitamin/Multimineral – supplementation
7. Glucosamine is said to benefit, but there’s no concrete study that supports its benefits (in being more than a placebo)
Don’t let a health condition dictate your life. Fight it with proper knowledge about the condition and with proper Nutrition and Exercise considerations. Whether it be Runner’s Knee, or any other debilitating health factor you may have.
Never give up!