What is runner's knee?
Runner's knee means that you have dull pain around the front of the knee (patella). This is where the knee connects with the lower end of the thighbone (femur).
What causes runner's knee?
Runner's knee may be caused by a structural defect, or a certain way of walking or running. Other causes may include:
A kneecap that is too high in the knee joint
Weak thigh muscles
Tight Achilles tendons
Poor foot support
Walking or running with the feet rolling in while the thigh muscles pull the kneecap outward
Excessive training or overuse
What are the symptoms of runner's knee?
These are the most common symptoms of runner's knee:
Pain in and around the kneecap that happens when you are active. Or pain after sitting for a long time with the knees bent. This sometimes causes weakness or feelings of instability.
Rubbing, grinding, or clicking sound of the kneecap that you hear when you bend and straighten your knee
Kneecap that is tender to the touch
The symptoms of runner's knee may look like other conditions and health problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How is runner's knee diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider can diagnose runner's knee by looking at your health history and doing a physical exam. X-rays may be needed for evaluation of the knee.
How is runner’s knee treated?
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
The best course of treatment for runner's knee is to stop running until you can run again without pain. Other treatment may include:
What can I do to prevent runner’s knee?
Preventing runner’s knee includes not overstressing your knees. You can do this by:
Losing weight if needed
Stretching before running
Increasing your activities gradually
Wearing good running shoes
Running leaning forward with your knees bent
Key points about runner's knee
Runner's knee is dull pain around the front of the knee.
It may be caused by a structural defect, or a certain way of walking or running.
Symptoms include pain, and rubbing, grinding, or clicking sound of the kneecap.
Treatment includes not running until pain goes away. Also cold packs, compression, and elevation may help. Medicine such as ibuprofen can lessen pain and reduce inflammation. Stretching and strengthening exercises can help prevent runner’s knee.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.