Mueller braces and supports for the knees can help people dealing with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), commonly called runner’s knee. The disorder also affects others who demand a lot from their knees during other types of athletic activity or work.
The patella is the kneecap. The patellofemoral joint is the place where the knee joins with the thighbone, technically called the femur. When physical changes in the patellofemoral joint cause pain, this is the basis for PFPS.
The syndrome is not caused by damage to the underlying cartilage, as occurs with arthritis and acute injury. Research still has not determined precisely what causes the problem. It appears to be an overuse injury, but researchers don’t know why it affects some runners and not others. It is a common disorder, however. The way physicians diagnose this syndrome is primarily by evaluating a cluster of symptoms reported by the patient.
Pain can occur not only when running or engaging in other athletic activity, but by doing something as simple as climbing up stairs. Some patients have episodes of knee pain when they’ve been sitting with their legs bent for a long time.
Preventing and Treating PFPS
Orthotic equipment like knee braces and supports provide extra support and stability that help prevent this condition. Since runner’s knee often affects weekend warriors, it’s important to at least get in some short runs on weekdays and not save it all up for a miles-long run on Saturday. Starting with a low-distance goal and gradually increasing it is best.
Those supportive devices also are helpful when people really want to run but they’re trying to manage PFPS and prevent the condition from worsening. Treating the disorder also should include icing the knee whenever pain develops, if possible. That might mean right after a run, or after climbing the stairs to the second floor of the house.
Physical therapy helps some patients, as the specific exercises increase strength, stability and flexibility.
Most patients do well with various conservative therapies like these and never require surgery for the knee.
Representatives with a supplier of orthotic devices such as Mueller Sports Medicine can provide knowledgeable recommendations on the best braces for this particular condition. The typical recommendations are for a lightweight brace with an opening around the front of the patella. Other designs are more suitable for knee problems caused by excess weight, muscle imbalance and cartilage damage.