Runners Knee

Runner’s knee as the name suggest, is a common condition among runners but it can occur in any population involving repetitive knee bending activities like walking, cycling, jumping, squatting, kneeling, cross legged sitting, long periods of chair sitting. It can also occur due to overuse in training, direct hit to the knee, malalignment of bony structures, flat feet, reduced strength and flexibility of thigh muscles. Technically it is known as patellofemoral pain syndrome. It is the relation of movement or sitting of knee cap in the groove of upper thigh.


Knee is a large, strong and complex joint. It is made up of lower of femur(thigh bone), upper end of tibia(shin bone) and patella(knee cap). End surfaces of these bones are covered with articular cartilage which is a slippery smooth substance to avoid friction between joint surfaces.

Runner’s Knee is characterized with pain which is insidious (slow) in onset and diffusely around the knee. Pain increases by ascending and descending stairs or any repetitive knee bending activities. Sometimes it is characterized by swelling around the knee, propping or grinding sound while movement.

The condition if treated properly does not worsen up. An eight year observational study among adolescent girls shows only 13% of participants with worsening at follow up. Treatment  in acute stage includes rest, cold compression and pain killers.

Physiotherapy treatment include knee mobility exercises, strengthening of quadriceps muscles, stretching.

Runners knee can be prevented