Cure Runner’s Knee

By Jim and Phil Wharton

Patellofemoral pain syndrome has another more commonly used name, Runner’s Knee, which it got for an obvious and very unfortunate reason – it’s so common among runners.

The stress of running can cause irritation where the kneecap (patella) rests on the thighbone. The resulting pain can be sharp and sudden or dull and chronic, and it may disappear while you’re running, only to return again afterward.

While biomechanical issues may be to blame, the cause can often be traced back to poorly conditioned quadriceps and tight hamstrings.

Weak quads aren’t able to support the patella, leading it to track out of alignment, and inflexible hamstrings can put pressure on the knee.

If you want to treat and avoid another bout with runner’s knee, add strengthening and stretching to your routine.

The three-step quadriceps exercise below is a good place to start. It works the muscles on the front, inside and outside of your thigh.

Do 10 reps of each part on both legs.

Front Thigh:

  • Lie on your back with an ankle weight on your right leg.
  • Fully extend that leg and lock your knee.
  • Keeping your foot relaxed and in a neutral position, lift your leg straight up toward your head as far as you can.
  • Your goal should be to position your leg perpendicular to your body.
  • Return to the starting position.

Inner Thigh:

Do the same exercise, but this time, turn out your right leg (toes pointing away from you) to target your inner thigh muscles.

Outer Thigh:

Repeat the same exercise again with your right leg turned in (toes pointing toward you) to isolate the muscles of your outer thigh.

Are you sure that you have Runner’s Knee? It might also be ITBS. Find out the difference between these niggly knee injuries here. 

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3 Responses to Cure Runner’s Knee

  1. ME 26 July 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    I have a pain in my left knee when bending my leg toward the inside. For example to sit with my left leg across my right, it produces a sharpish pain inside the knee, which would only stop when changing position to normal front-facing.
    Could this be similar to the description above for runner’s knee?

    • glen 14 August 2012 at 5:00 am #

      help! I need some advice. Im 50 y/o male. retired from the army reserves trying to get back in. I miss running. I gained weight, have developed arthritis in my right knee with some pain in the left. I have flat feet and use custom made orthotics. Is it possable to get back into running shape to lose weight. What kind of running shoe would be best for a guy like me. Or am i screwed

  2. vinay nagyal 31 March 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    I do a “Padma-asana” for 10 minutes after every run and it gets the knees adjusted back to their correct angles and pulls the stress out. I am 45 and vouch for this method.

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