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Pain in the front of the knee? Runners Knee?

Updated: Jun 4

Hi Runner!

Let's dive into -> Understanding and Overcoming Runner's Knee:

Diagnosis, Effects, Causes, and Healing Strategies

Runner's knee, also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome, is a common condition among runners that causes pain in the front of the knee. In this blog post, we will explore how to diagnose runner's knee, understand its impact on running, identify its causes, and provide evidence-based strategies to promote healing and recovery.

  1. Diagnosing Runner's Knee: Have a pain in the front of your knee, just below or behind your knee cap? It's likely Runner's Knee. While self-assessment can provide initial insights, often obtaining a proper diagnosis is essential for effective treatment. According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, clinical examination and the exclusion of other possible knee conditions are necessary for a definitive diagnosis (Lankhorst et al., 2012).

  2. Effects of Runner's Knee on Running: Runner's knee can significantly impact a runner's performance and training routine. A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine examined the effect of patellofemoral pain on running mechanics and found alterations in knee kinematics, including reduced knee flexion angles during the stance phase (Neal et al., 2019). These changes can lead to decreased running efficiency and discomfort during exercise.

3. Causes of Runner's Knee: Several factors contribute to the development of runner's knee. Research suggests that a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors can contribute to the onset of the condition. A systematic review published in Sports Health identified various risk factors, including muscular weakness, poor lower limb control, and increased training volume (Smith et al., 2018). A great deal of down hill running may be the cause. Runner's Knee is often found in the bounding running form. Understanding these underlying causes is crucial for effective treatment and prevention.

4. Healing Strategies for Runner's Knee: To promote healing and recovery from runner's knee, evidence-based strategies can be employed. A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy investigated the effectiveness of exercise therapy for patellofemoral pain syndrome. The study concluded that a program focusing on hip and knee strengthening, flexibility, and neuromuscular control resulted in improved pain reduction and functional outcomes (Van der Heijden et al., 2015). Incline running with correct running form will allow the runner to be able to continue running through the healing process.

Additional healing strategies include:

Runner's knee can significantly impact a runner's performance and overall training experience. By understanding the diagnostic process, the effects on running mechanics, the underlying causes, and evidence-based healing strategies, individuals can effectively manage and recover from this condition. Remember, seeking professional guidance is crucial for accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plans. With patience, appropriate interventions, and a focus on prevention, runners can overcome runner's knee and continue to pursue their passion pain-free.


  1. Lankhorst, N. E., Bierma-Zeinstra, S. M. A., & van Middelkoop, M. (2012). Risk factors for patellofemoral pain syndrome: A systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 46(12), 888-894.

  2. Neal, B. S., Barton, C. J., Gallie, R., O'Halloran, P., & Morrissey, D. (2019). Runners with pat

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