Combating Runner's Knee

Updated: Apr 11

Runner's Knee aka patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the patella (knee cap). PFPS flares up after long runs, extended periods of sitting, or while going down hills and stairs.⁣

The majority of running injuries occur in the knee (van Mechelen, W)⁣

⁣⁣

Causes:⁣

🔸Biomechanical factors that put extra load on the knee (over-pronation, weak quads or glutes)⁣

🔸Increasing training too much too quickly⁣

🔸This is more common in women than men, due to a larger Q-angle (outside hip to inside knee joint angle)⁣

🔸 Can occur spontaneously from overuse⁣

Stop if:⁣

Pain on the inside/outside of your knee when you are walking & it doesn’t go away⁣

Caution:⁣

If you get twinges early in running, it dissipates, comes back after you run or is bothersome after sitting for long periods⁣

Go run:⁣

Pain free even after sitting for long periods (2 hours or more) or after running hills or a hilly route⁣

Rehab:⁣

🔹Avoid running downhill (uphill running can feel better⁣)

🔹Reduce your mileage & take extra days off⁣

🔹Run every other day & only as far as you can w/o pain⁣

🔹Strengthen weak hip & leg muscles⁣

🔹Use ice post run (in the beginning stages of this injury)⁣

🔹Use heat in later stages⁣

Prevent:⁣

▫️Shorten your stride & land with your knee slightly bent (this can help take some of the load off the knee joint)⁣

▫️Count the number of steps you are taking per minute (cadence) & increase the number slightly (5-10%)⁣

▫️Strengthen knee muscles to help your knee cap track (move) properly⁣

▫️Stretch your hip flexors⁣


Have you dealt with PFPS? What helped you recover/rehab your knee? ⁣Let us know in the comments below!

Questions, comments? Drop a comment below, shoot us an email: plateauracing@gmail.com, or send us a message via our contact section on the bottom of any one of our website pages.

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