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Runner's knee, also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), is a common condition characterised by pain around or behind the kneecap (patella). It often affects runners but can also occur in individuals who participate in other activities that involve repetitive knee movements, such as jumping, cycling, or hiking.


Runner's knee, medically known as patellofemoral pain syndrome, is a common condition that causes pain around the kneecap (patella). It often affects individuals who engage in activities that involve repetitive knee bending and impact, such as running, hence the name "runner's knee." However, it can also occur in people who are not necessarily runners but are involved in activities that stress the knee joint.

The condition typically arises due to irritation of the soft tissues surrounding the patella and the underlying femur bone. Several factors can contribute to the development of runner's knee:

  1. Overuse: Repeated and excessive knee bending and impact can lead to irritation and inflammation of the patellar tendon or the soft tissues around the knee joint.

  2. Muscular Imbalances: Weakness or imbalances in the muscles that support the knee, particularly the quadriceps and hip muscles, can cause improper tracking of the patella during movement, leading to increased stress on the joint.

  3. Poor Biomechanics: Incorrect running or movement techniques can put extra strain on the knee joint, leading to discomfort and pain.

  4. Improper Footwear: Wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support or cushioning for the feet and knees can contribute to the development of runner's knee.

  5. Anatomical Factors: Individual differences in the structure of the knee joint, such as the alignment of the patella, can increase the likelihood of developing the condition.

What are the symptoms of Runner's Knee?

Symptoms of runner's knee include pain around or behind the kneecap, especially during activities that involve bending the knee, going downstairs, or sitting for extended periods with the knee bent. The pain might be dull and aching, and it can become more pronounced with increased activity.

Here are some common symptoms associated with runner's knee:

  1. Pain around the Kneecap: The most characteristic symptom is a dull, aching pain around the front of the knee, usually situated under or around the patella. The pain may be felt during physical activities that involve bending the knee, such as running, jumping, squatting, or going downstairs.

  2. Pain with Activities: The pain often becomes more pronounced during or after engaging in activities that put stress on the knee joint. Activities like running downhill, climbing stairs, or sitting for extended periods with the knee bent can trigger discomfort.

  3. Crepitus: Some individuals might experience a sensation of grinding, cracking, or popping in the knee joint when they move their knee, especially when bending or straightening the leg.

  4. Swelling and Inflammation: Swelling and localized inflammation around the front of the knee might occur. The knee area can feel warm to the touch due to the inflammatory response.

  5. Pain After Rest: People with runner's knee might notice that the pain persists or becomes worse after periods of inactivity or rest, such as sitting for a long time or waking up in the morning.

  6. Stiffness: Stiffness in the knee joint, especially after sitting for a while, is a common symptom. It can lead to discomfort when trying to move the knee.

  7. Pain with Weight-Bearing: The pain might increase when putting weight on the affected leg, making activities like walking and standing potentially uncomfortable.

  8. Localized Tenderness: Pressing on or around the kneecap may cause localized tenderness and discomfort.

How can you treat Runner's Knee?

Treatment for runner's knee typically involves a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), along with other strategies:

  1. Rest: Reducing or modifying activities that aggravate the knee pain can help give the joint time to heal.

  2. Physical Therapy: Strengthening exercises for the quadriceps and hip muscles, along with stretching and flexibility exercises, can address muscle imbalances and improve joint stability.

  3. Orthotics: Customised shoe inserts can help correct any biomechanical issues that might be contributing to the condition.

  4. Anti-inflammatory Medications: Non-prescription pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs can help manage pain and inflammation.

  5. Gradual Return to Activity: Once the pain subsides, gradually increasing activity levels while paying attention to proper form and technique is important to prevent recurrence.

  6. Professional Evaluation: If the pain persists or worsens, consulting a healthcare professional such as a podiatrist or physical therapist is recommended to determine the appropriate course of treatment.

It's important to address runner's knee promptly to prevent it from becoming a chronic issue and to avoid further damage to the knee joint.




Our team will conduct a full assessment including medical history, foot & lower limb posture, strength & motion tests, gait assessment using pressure plate system, and treatment plan discussion. Following your assessment and review of your medical history, this appoint may suitable to diagnose an treat conditions in the list above.

For this appointment it is important to have the appropriate medical history as this will allow our podiatrists to identify and treat the problem more effectively. If you have any previous GP refferal notes, scans or test results please bring these with you.

You will need the following for your appointment:

A pair of shorts. A selection of footwear, 1 to 3 pairs of shoes (footwear you wear daily/ and or your sporting footwear).

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