Runner's knee can cause pretty significant pain across the front of your knee. Essentially, it is an inflammation of the ligaments that connect your patella or knee cap to the femur, which is the bone in your thigh. Most runners will recover from runner's knee with some rest, ice, and stretches. But stubborn cases can linger for weeks or months, in which case, you may want to look into other treatments. One such treatment is steroid injections.
What are steroid injections?
Steroids are a class of substances that are produced naturally in the body. They have hormone-like functions. One example of a steroid is cortisone, which triggers the body to reduce inflammation and start healing the areas it is present. Thanks to these functions, cortisone is injected into an area in the body, then the body starts healing that area. Steroid injections can be made directly into injured tissues, such as the ligaments involved in runner's knee.
How will steroid injections help heal your runner's knee?
Ligament injuries, like those involved in runner's knee, take a long time to heal on their own. This is largely because ligaments have limited blood flow. They don't receive enough nutrients and oxygen from the blood to heal much faster. Inflammation makes this worse; it further restricts blood flow and healing. When your doctor injects a steroid into the tissues, it brings down the inflammation, which allows for increased blood flow. This increased blood flow speeds up the healing process.
How long will it take for the steroid injections to work?
Most people feel the pain in their knee decrease within a day or two of getting the injections. This does not, however, mean that your runner's knee is fully healing. It will likely be another couple of weeks before your knee is healed enough for you to start running again. And even then, you will want to take precautions as you ease your way back into running. Stick to softer surfaces, make sure your shoes are in good shape, and increase your mileage slowly. Steroid injections are a good tool for healing runner's knee, but they are not a miracle cure.
If you have a stubborn case of runner's knee, it may be time to visit a doctor for an evaluation. They may recommend a steroid injection to reduce the inflammation, stimulate blood flow, and make it possible for you to heal.
For more information on steroid supplement injections, contact a professional near you.