Q&A: Runner's knee or TMS
Answer by David Schechter, MD
David Schechter's Profile Page / Survey Response / Psychophysiologic Disorders Association (PPDA) Board Member
Runner's knee, or patello femoral syndrome, is a description of pain that occurs, with running or after running, in the area of the knee cap or patella. While severe cases do show structural, pathological changes of the cartilage behind the knee, milder cases typically do not show anything on MRI (or surgical inspection) and are not advised for surgery. This condition is treated conservatively. Like any TMS diagnosis, a medical doctor should examine you. He/she will want to take a careful history, including assessing personality factors and psychosocial issues. X-rays and more rarely an MRI of the knee may be needed to exclude any mechanical causes of pain.
Essentially my point is that while knee pain can be TMS, it can be caused by structural factors such as torn meniscus, etc. and a good medical exam by a tms doctor who is also familiar with the knee is the ideal way to assess this.
Barring this, have the appropriate tests by your primary doctor or orthopedist and then look inside yourself for the patterns of response and patterns of onset and relief typical of tms and mind-body disorders.
David Schechter, MD
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