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Health Tips / Knee - Runner's Knee

Diagnosis and Symptons

Runner's knee is caused by damage to the area behind the patella, or kneecap, causing the patella to rub against the femur bone. Some athletes have a genetic predispostition to developing runners knee as their patella is raised more than normal. Other causes can include tightness of muscle groups such as hamstrings and quadriceps which force the patella out of its normal rotational displacement.


Symptoms of runner's knee include a sharp pain directly behind the kneecap or a dull pain in the front of the knee. Initially the pain occurs during down hill running, but then occurs during all running and eventually at all times especially when walking down steps. Pain is generally worse immediately after exercise or after sitting for long periods.

Preventative measures

Proper warm-up and stretching is essential. Leg muscle strengthening through exercises and weights may also prove beneficial. For athletes with a current injury, running should be stopped until it can be done without pain. Your medical professional will be able to devise a specific rehabilitation programme. Riding a bicycle (if this does not cause pain) may be an option. Alternatively, you may be advised to commence rowing or swimming. Stretching of hamstrings, quadriceps will increase flexibility and may help prevent the problem worsening. Specific strengthening exercises which strengthen the "vastus medialis", which pulls on the patella, may be devised by your medical professional depending on the specific cause of the injury.


For serious injury always consult your doctor or physiotherapist. 
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Last update: 16/05/2013 12:38 • Previous update: 30/11/-0001 00:00