Tests for Chronic Knee Pain Worsened by Running
Did you know that the knee is the largest and most complex joint in the human body? It’s known as a hinge joint, which allows the lower leg and foot to swing back and forth while walking. It also absorbs the impact of the foot being placed on the ground. As such, chronic knee pain is a common complaint amongst people of all ages.
When that pain is worsened by running, you may have developed something known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (Runner’s Knee) or patella tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee). Both of these conditions are relatively easy to treat, however, a few tests will need to be performed to determine the cause of your pain.
The team at Muscle Joint Bone is committed to using tailored solutions that get our patients back to being fit and active as soon as possible. We offer a range of services that are designed to improve knee pain, regardless of its cause. Please contact us for more personalised advice.
Runner’s Knee Tests
If you are suffering from Runner’s Knee, the following tests will provoke the same pain as what you’ve been experiencing (around the kneecap). It should be noted that assessing for this condition is more difficult, as many more factors contribute to such an injury.
Your physiotherapist will have you lie on a table with your knee extended flat (you’ll notice that, in this position, your kneecap is wobbly if you try to move it). They will then press on the border of the kneecap; soreness can be an indication of Runner’s Knee.
- Quad Contraction
While you’re lying down, your physiotherapist may also perform a quad contraction. They will place something underneath the knee (like a rolled-up towel) to support it, then squeeze your quadricep muscles so that your heel lifts slightly. Pain may be caused around the kneecap.
- Forward Step Down
Your physiotherapist will ask you to stand on a step, and then step down with your unaffected leg. If you are suffering from Runner’s Knee, the higher the step, the harder it will be for your knee to cope.
Jumper’s Knee Tests
If you are suffering from Jumper’s Knee, the following tests will provoke the same pain as what you’ve been experiencing (just below your kneecap).
Your physiotherapist will have you lie on a table with your knee bent at 90 degrees, then they will press down at the base of the kneecap with their fingers. If this reproduces the same type of pain that you’ve been experiencing, you likely have Jumper’s Knee.
- Single Leg Hop
Your physiotherapist will ask you to perform five hops on the spot using your affected leg to see if the same pain can be reproduced.
- High Step Up
Your physiotherapist will ask you to perform five step-ups onto a box, placing your affected leg on the step. It’s essential that you place most of your weight on the affected leg rather than letting the other leg assist as you step up.
If none of the above tests can replicate the knee pain you have been experiencing, your physiotherapists will move on to other tests to determine the cause of your pain. Some of these tests may include:
- Posterior Draw Test
This test assesses the condition of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), which is important for stabilising the knee. You will lie on the table with your knee in a flexed position. The physiotherapist will assess the amount of backward movement in your tibia.
- Anterior Draw Test
This test assesses the condition of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which helps to prevent hyperextension. You will lie on the table with your knee in a flexed position. The physiotherapist will assess the amount of forward movement in your tibia.
- Clarkes Sign
A positive result in this test can indicate signs of chondromalacia or degeneration of the knee joint (such as osteoarthritis). You will lie on the table with your legs extended flat. The physiotherapist will compress the quadricep muscle above the kneecap, and will then ask you to contract your quad.
Chronic Knee Pain Has Many Causes – Get to the Bottom of Yours
No one should have to live with chronic knee pain – there are ways to manage it and return to a more comfortable way of living. It’s important to make an appointment with Muscle Joint Bone so that they can assess the cause of your pain and tailor a treatment plan to suit.
If you have noticed that your pain worsens when running, you may have developed a condition like Runner’s Knee or Jumper’s Knee – but remember that there are other causes of knee pain, which is why having a physiotherapist perform some relevant tests is so important.