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Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner’s Knee)


Runners run. But they also get injured. In fact, some 70 percent of all runners will experience some type of injury. This one, “Runner’s Knee,” is the most common. Keep reading to discover what causes it and how it’s treated.

Causes & Triggers

  • Flat feet
  • Misalignment of the patella
  • Overuse
  • Tight or weak muscles (hamstrings, calf, thigh)
  • Trauma

Signs & Symptoms

  • Cracking
  • Pain (especially after prolonged sitting or walking downhill)
  • Popping
  • Sensation of “giving way”
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Tips & Treatment

  • Because this condition is often confused with other knee injuries, seek the medical opinion of a well-qualified orthopedic specialist.
  • If left untreated, patellofemoral pain syndrome can damage knee cartilage and possibly lead to the development of arthritis.
  • Runner’s knee is typically treated with RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and lifestyle changes including:
    • Activity modification
    • Anti-inflammatory medications
    • Orthotic arch support shoe inserts
    • Stretching exercises
  • In severe instances, surgery may be required to remove fragments or manually realign the kneecap.

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