Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome – or runner’s knee – is the most common running injury and accounts for nearly 20% of all running injuries. This condition can be characterized by pain beneath the kneecap. If left untreated, the pain will become more intense – making running, jumping, and stairs more difficult.
It’s hard to pinpoint a single cause of runner’s knee. Most often it can be attributed to misalignment of the patella, causing it to track in the wrong place over the cartilage in the knee. Characteristics of the runner's anatomy can also contribute to the problem, particularly in women who have a higher than usual Q angle. Other anatomical contributing factors could be high arches;providing less cushioning than you need, or flat feet could be causing the knee to turn in our out excessively, pulling the patella sideways. Research has shown that people with poor/weak quadriceps and calf flexibility, poor vertical jumping ability (which is highly dependent on your quads) are all risk factors for runner's knee.
The sooner you cut the workload, the faster healing begins. Incorporate the following into your strength training routine, and watch your recovery time speed up drastically:
- Cut back your mileage and avoid repetitive stress on your knee joints
- Stretch your quad muscles to take the stress off of your knees
- Working on flexibility in the Hip flexor and hamstring
- Work on strengthening the Quadriceps and Glutes
- Add insoles designed to help absorb shock and/or promote alignment of the foot
Like any injury, take proper precautions to aid the healing process. We suggest that you check with your physiotherapist if symptoms don't seem to be subsiding. The last thing you want is another set-back with your training. If the injury persists for longer than two weeks, go see a doctor immediately.
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