Runners Knee

As the name suggests, runner’s knee is a common ailment among runners. But it can also strike any athlete who does activities that require a lot of knee bending — like walking, biking, and jumping. It usually causes aching pain around the kneecap. Runner’s knee isn’t really a condition itself. It’s a loose term for several specific disorders with different causes. Runner’s knee can result from:


    • Overuse. Repeated bending of the knee can irritate the nerves of the kneecap. Overstretched tendons (tendons are the tissues that connect muscles to bones) may also cause the pain of runner’s knee.
    • Direct trauma to the knee, like a fall or blow.
  • Misalignment. If any of the bones are slightly out of their correct position — or misaligned — physical stress won’t be evenly distributed through your body. Certain parts of your body may bear too much weight. This can cause pain and damage to the joints. Sometimes, the kneecap itself is slightly out of position

Common things that can cause mal-alignment include:

    • Tightness in the ilio tibial band: a band of fibre that runs from the outside of the hip to the outside if the knee cap. The ilio tibial band frequently becomes tight in middle distance runners. When tight it pulls the patella outwards and out of alignment.
    • Imbalance of the quadriceps: the quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh is made up of four parts. Most forms of training strengthens the outer part more than the inner part, thus the patella is pulled out of alignment
    • Tight calf muscles: if the calf muscles are tight the foot has to pronate further to gain the same movement when running or walking – this causes an increase in rotation at the lower leg leading to patella malalignment
    • Tight hamstrings: if the hamstrings are tight when running or walking the knee is not fully straightened, this means the foot has to roll into pronation causing mal-alignment at the patella
    • Weakness in gluteus medius: One of the muscles that make up the buttock, it is frequently underactive in runners. If the gluteus medius is not working well enough the upper leg rotates inwards again causing patella mal-alignment.
  • Problems with the feet. Runner’s knee can result from flat feet, also called fallen arches or overpronation. This is a condition in which the impact of a step causes the arches of your foot to collapse, stretching the muscles and tendons.


    • Treatment will vary depending on the cause. If the symptoms are caused by a muscle imbalance an exercise programme will be prescribed to correct any such imbalances.
    • If the symptoms are caused by foot pronation we will provide medically prescribed functional orthoses. To minimise adverse internal rotation of the leg and assist in your muscle rehabilitation program.
          We also provide an exper

We also provide an expert Running analysis service with advice on running technique that focuses on injury                  prevention and minimising reoccurrence.