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Runner’s Knee

Overview

Runner’s knee (medically known as patellofemoral pain syndrome) is pain at the front of the knee, around and behind the kneecap. As the name suggests, it is the most common running-related injury but can also affect people who play sports that involve a high amount of running and jumping.

Pain often increases when running, walking up or down stairs, squatting, and jumping. Rest, ice, and stretching of the thigh muscles often help. In the more persistent cases, runner’s knee requires rehabilitation exercises and foot orthotics to facilitate recovery.

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About Runner's Knee

Runner’s knee typically presents with dull, aching pain around the kneecap. At times, there can be pressure and grinding of the kneecap experienced on bending and extending of the knee. This is exacerbated during activities such as:

  • Walking up and downstairs
  • Kneeling and squatting
  • Running and jumping
  • Sitting with a bent knee for an extended period of time

Causes:

There are several causes of Runner’s knee. It has been linked to:

  • Injury. Trauma to the knee cap, such as a hard knock or a dislocation causing the knee cap to be misaligned, has been linked to runner’s knee.
  • Overuse. Running or jumping sports that put heavy loads on the knee can lead to irritation and pressure behind the kneecap. This is especially so when there is a sharp increase in training load that increases the risk of an overload on the knee.
  • Muscle imbalance or weakness. A big factor that causes Runner’s knee is imbalance, tightness and weakness of the muscles of the thigh and hip. As a result of this, the kneecap is not kept in line when the knee is bent and extended under load. A sign of this is the knee moving inward during a single leg squat, which has been linked to runner’s knee.
  • Foot overpronation. An overpronated foot that has a high amount of rolling in also contributes to the knee moving inward during a single leg squat. This then leads to the kneecap not kept in line and runner’s knee to occur.
  • Surgery. Knee surgery can increase the risk of runner’s knee, especially if there is an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Runner’s knee typically affects teens and young adults. Women are also twice as likely as men to develop runner’s knee, possibly due to the wider pelvis that they have.

How We Help

To prevent and manage runner’s knee, we can help you with the following:

  • Activity modification and training advice. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your training and activity levels. Sharp increases in duration and the intensity of running, jumping and high impact activities can lead to overloading of your knee. We can identify training errors and assist in returning you back to your desired activity if you have runner’s knee.
  • Rehabilitation exercises. Exercises that strengthen the muscles in the hip and thigh help keep the knee in line when bending and extending under load. The goal is to keep the knee from moving inward. Strengthening and stretching exercises will be prescribed to you to assist in your recovery.
  • Analysis of your walking and running gait. A formal video analysis of your walking and running gait can help identify movement patterns that contribute to runner’s knee. If you’re a runner, small alterations to your running technique can help to alleviate pain and prevent recurrence.
  • Foot orthotics. Depending on your needs and biomechanics, customised or general foot orthotics  help reduce foot overpronation and keep the knee in line during movement. It can also help take stress off the knee, alleviating pain.

We also work in a multi-disciplinary setting to aid you in your rehabilitation and can refer you to the relevant discipline for further care.

Do you have runner’s knee? Let us help!

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Podiatry Quest – Holland Grove

Appointment basis; please reach out!

Free on-site parking

Bus 92 from Bouna Vista MRT

Monday: 9am – 6pm
Tuesday: 2pm – 6pm
Wednesday: 9am – 6pm
Thursday: 9am – 6pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 12pm-4pm (alternate weeks)
Sunday & Public Holidays: Closed

Podiatry Quest – Novena

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We are at Novena Square, just at the lift landing on level 3

Monday: closed
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: closed
Thursday: closed
Friday: 9am – 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 1pm (alternate weeks)
Sunday & Public Holidays: Closed

Podiatry Quest – Harbourfront

Appointment basis; please reach out!

Lift lobby B provides easiest access to us

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 9am – 1pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: Closed
Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed
Sunday & Public Holidays: Closed

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