What Is Runner’s Knee?

As we come into the summer months, and the weather continues to improve, many people tend to increase their running time/mileage and activity levels. At times, this increase in activity can cause pain in their knees which can ultimately begin to affect their function and mobility. A common condition that people suffer from is runner’s knee.


What Is Runner’s Knee?

Runner’s knee is a broad term used to describe certain conditions such as patellofemoral pain, chondromalacia patella, iliotibial band syndrome. It not only affects runners, but those who participate in activities that require frequent bending of the knee, such as biking, walking, hiking, jumping, etc. It can be caused by several factors, including overuse, malalignment, trauma, feet issues, and/or muscle weakness/imbalances.

Overuse Can Be Stressful To Your Body

Overuse can occur from repetitive bending of the knee and high stress activities, such as lunges, plyometrics, and running. This can cause tendons in the knee to become overstretched and people can experience pain at the kneecap. Overpronation or fallen arches can cause issues and pain at the knee as well due to increased stress to other joints above the chain. Weakness in the hips and knees can also led to dysfunction at the knee.

Monitor Your Pain

Pain behind or around the kneecap, pain when bending the knee (squatting, sit to stand, kneeling), pain while descending stairs, popping/grinding in the knee, and swelling are some common symptoms of runner’s knee.

Treatment & Moving Forward

If you feel you are suffering from runner’s knee, try resting and icing the knee, elevating your leg if there is swelling, and working on stretching/strengthening your knee. To prevent further stress and pain at the knee, consult your physical therapist on proper rehab techniques and ways to prevent further injury to the knee.

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