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Running is one of the best, most efficient, and convenient forms of exercise. Just thinking about running around the park early in the morning brings relaxation to us, however, there are some circumstances that we encounter injuries or pains that leave us uncomfortable and not up to the task of running or it would even occur at the time of running and no other choice but to painfully walk home. This leaves some people frustrated. This is what we call, Runner’s Knee- one of the most common injuries that both ordinary and athletes experience that’s actually quite hard to get rid of.

We will be sharing some information about Runner’s knee and give you some treatment ideas as well as Physical Therapy-approved exercises to help you get back to running and feel better than ever.

What is Runner’s Knee?

Also known as Patellofemoral Stress Syndrome (PFSS) or physicians also refer to it as patellofemoral pain syndrome. it is a type of knee pain and not necessarily caused by running.

It’s usually caused by a direct impact on the knee, a problem with the feet, weak or unbalanced thigh muscles, incorrect position of any bones from the hips to the ankles, or even Chondromalacia patella.

The main symptom of Runner’s knee is pain and is mostly aggravated by the following conditions:

  • Bending the knee to walk, squat, kneel, run, or when getting up from a chair

  • Discomfort when walking on uneven surfaces

  • Walking downstairs or on hills

  • Irritation felt after sitting for a long time with the knees bent

  • For some, it may include swelling of the knee area, with popping sounds or grinding in the knee


The best treatment for Runner’s knee is Physical Therapy since the pain you’re experiencing shouldn’t be ignored. Treating your Runner’s knee at home has limitations, and besides, your Therapists will be assessing your physical conditions more in-depth to address the problem correctly and safely.

Most of the time, your therapists will give you this advice:

  • Continue Physical Therapy for strengthening exercises

  • Take your pain relievers as prescribed by your physician

  • Put an ice pack on the knee for at least 20 minutes every 4 hours

  • Rest and avoid putting weight on the affected knee

  • Put a pillow under your knee while you rest

Here are some PT exercises that you will most probably encounter during your session:

  1. Straight Leg Raises

With this exercise, make sure that your knee joint is locked to decrease stress and strain around the kneecap.

  • Lie on your back with one knee straight and one knee bent

  • Tighten your muscle on top of your thigh (for the straight leg)

  • Lift your leg about 15 inches off the ground and hold the straight leg up for a few seconds

  • Slowly lower it down and repeat the raise 10 to 15 times.

  1. Clamshells

This is a good exercise to improve the strength of your hip muscles.

  • Lie on your right side with your knees bent on top of each other and your right arm under your head to support it.

  • Keeping your feet together, open the clamshell by lifting your top knee up.

  • While your hips will rotate during this exercise, your pelvis and core should remain stable.

  • Close the clamshell, repeat 15 times, and switch sides.

Like all conditions, there are other exercises that your PT can devise so you can improve and get better. You don’t have to endure the pain, call us up and we’ll show you how.

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