Runner’s Knee

Runner’s Knee

The term “runner’s knee” is a loose term used to describe pain around the knee. There are two common conditions associated with runner’s knee: (1) Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) and (2) Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITBS). There are many different causes of runner’s knee. Pain often gradually occurs with any specific mechanism of injury and is generally felt either during a run or after it, especially when either taking stairs or standing from a prolonged seated position. A multi-faceted approach to treatment should be taken by those suffering from this injury because there are so many different causes of runner’s knee.

ITBS-PFPSCauses:

  • Flat arches / feet that overpronate while walking / running that are not supported with proper footwear (typically will experience PFPS)
  • High arches / feet that underpronate while walking / running that are not cushioned with proper footwear (typically will experience ITBS)
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Tightness of the Iliotibial Band (IT Band)
  • Tightness of the hamstring and quadriceps
  • Weakness of the muscles of the thigh, hip, and core

Treatment:

  • Arch support through use of an insert for the shoe (over-the-counter, semi-custom, or custom)
  • Proper footwear
  • Strengthening of quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, and core muscles
  • Stretching of the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles
  • Stretching of the IT Band with a foam roller
  • Use of KT Tape
  • Use either of a patellar tendon strap or of an IT Band strap during activity

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