How to Get Through “Runner’s Knee”

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), also known as runner’s knee, is one of the most common injuries found in runners. The main symptom of this affliction is an aching pain below the kneecap that usually worsens with increased intensity of a workout. This may be caused by many different factors. The most common being biomechanical flaws in a runner’s gait caused by weak quads and hips. A study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found females with knee pain had significantly weaker hip and hip abductor strength in their injured leg. Other factors include running in worn-out shoes or on uneven surfaces.

The best way to combat runner’s knee is through strengthening the hip and quad areas. The best place to start is by seeing a physical therapist. He or she will be able to tell you whether what you are suffering from is indeed runner’s knee or something else. If the therapist finds that you do have runner’s knee, he or she will prescribe you to lessen your amount of activity. The therapist’s main goals will be to initially reduce inflammation with icing and possibly anti-inflammatory medication. The real fix will come in the form of strengthening the quad and hip areas through rehab exercises and modified running. At Wise Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine in Grove City, we have a therapy pool with underwater treadmills that allows runners to run with 70-80% less impact. Other modifications may include running on different surfaces, switching to a different pair of shoes or adding orthotics, or tweaking running form.  

If you are experiencing these symptoms, feel free to call and set up an appointment to see one of our therapists.

Grove City – 724-458-9473

Slippery Rock – 724-406-0506

New Castle – 724-202-6490


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