Patellar chondromalacia is a softening or breakdown of the cartilage underneath your kneecap, according to the National Institutes of Health. This condition most commonly occurs in adolescents and young adults and is marked by knee tenderness, knee pain and a grinding sensation when the knee is flexed. While rest is often recommended with patellar chondromalacia, there are actions you can take to allow yourself to jog pain-free as you recover.
Consult a doctor. Make sure your symptoms are chondromalacia and not a more serious condition, such as a cartilage or ligament tear. A physical exam, medical history and X-ray can help diagnose chondromalacia and rule out other conditions.
Follow the instructions of your doctor. Your doctor may suggest a few weeks of rest, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. Help prevent future instances of patellar chondromalacia with a knee-strengthening program, something you can use to work your hamstring and quadriceps as well.
Ask your doctor about the use of a patella strap. Use this small brace while running to help position your knee appropriately and reduce stress on the kneecap.
Invest in a good pair of running shoes. The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine indicates shoes should be appropriate for your jogging routine, the terrain you jog on, your body weight and your foot type. Shoes should have adequate shock absorption, fit snugly in the heels and have enough room in the front to allow for wiggling of the toes.
Use an arch support. Talk to your doctor about the use of an arch support in your running shoes. Arch supports can help to further reduce shock and place less stress on your knees. Arch supports can be purchased with a prescription or over the counter.
Change your jogging terrain. Switch to a softer surface to help protect your knees. Try a treadmill, track or running on wooded trails.
Ease yourself back into running slowly. The National Academy of Sports Medicine recommends increasing your training regime at a rate of 10 percent per week. If you normally ran two miles per day prior to diagnosis, start at two-tenths of a mile and add an additional two-tenths each week.
- "National Academy of Sports Medicine: Essentials of Personal Fitness Training"; Scott Lucett; 2008
- American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine: Running and Your Feet
- National Institutes of Health: Chondromalacia Patella