What have helped me with that same injury under and below knee cap pain multiple times is ultrasound and TENS at least 3 times a week. Get a referral for a PT, insist on more than 1 or 2 a week and ultrasound and TENS every session.
And rest during those two - three weeks of the therapy.
For me the knee starts calling when I ramp up the volume too fast and or do most of it on pavement. So going off paved roads and even off trail have helped me train through it in some cases. (which of course I can't publicly endorse :) )
Here is a soft terrain 5K run that should be gentler on the knee. http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6794176
or Bridle off-Trails Park :)
For patella pain I've also had success when I stretched my quads a lot. Especially that stretch where you kneel on the floor and bend your leg behind you. Something about my quad muscles getting super tight and pulling very painfully on my kneecap. Good luck, I hate being injured too.
Same here, I dig into the quads (massage) at the first sign of patella or knee pain.
Attack your quads with a foam roller.
It's basically self-massage, but it's easier to roll than knead yourself.
Appreciate the advice, all! I am already a firm disciple of the foam roller, but I will add more stretching and massaging as well. It's feeling substantially better after some rest, but if things go the other way again I'll definitely get to a PT.