All about runner’s knee and prevention hacks

Runner’s knee is one of the most common and debilitating injuries experienced by runners. But with correct treatment and advice, recovery can be experienced in most cases.

Approximately 40% of all injuries seen in a sports injury clinic involves the knee. Runner’s knee, also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) or anterior knee pain, accounts for approximately 16.5% of all running injuries.

Runner’s knee is when the cartilage between the kneecap and the knee joint becomes irritated and inflamed, resulting in pain at the front of the knee. It is often described as a “catching” pain which can be anything from mild to severe. It can affect one knee or both, and is twice as common in women than men.
Runner’s knee is generally recognized as an overuse injury, however, there is often a bio-mechanical error like poor running style, incorrect running shoes or muscle imbalances as the underlying reason for developing pain at the front of the knee.

Runners are not the only victims of this type of knee pain – they can also occur with cycling, swimming, netball, football, basketball, and volleyball.


Avoiding the development of knee pain is the obvious key and there are a few things you can do to help avoid knee injuries.

1. Keep your quadriceps and hamstrings flexible. Use a foam roller combined with dynamic and static stretching is the most effective way to achieve this.
2. Also keep your quadriceps strong. Squats, sit to stands, lunges are all good methods to help strengthen your quads. Cycling is also a good way to strengthen your quads.
3. Carry out a regular recovery routine. Ice baths or direct icing is a great natural way to reduce joint irritation.
4. Keep your weekly mileage increase to 10% or less and increase hill work gradually.
5. Make sure your shoes are correct for your foot type (visit a specialist running shoe shop where you can get advise and try out shoes).
6. Change your running shoes before they get too worn and make sure you wear in the new pair before using them in earnest.

How can physiotherapy help?

Virtually all cases of Runner’s Knee respond well to physiotherapy treatment. The aims of treatment are to resolve the localised inflammatory response and identify and address any underlying postural and body alignment issues that may be contributing to the problem. Leg length differences, a knock-kneed posture or a foot position where the arch of the foot lowers during running can all contribute to Runner’s Knee.

Our Physios will check for these things during the physical assessment and will give specific advice to correct these problems before the patient returns to activity, in order to prevent a recurrence of Runner’s Knee. In mild cases of Runners Knee a knee strap can relieve symptoms very effectively during running.

is important that the appropriate support is used and we can advise you on this. Call PCA on 0813 028 0496!

Leave a Reply