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Running Away From "Runner's Knee" Pain!

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), more commonly known as "Runner's Knee" in the running community, is one of the most common conditions to afflict avid runners. Many runners and doctors often confuse this condition with pain associated with knee joint arthritis, meniscus injuries, or even stress fractures around the knee. So what actually is it and where does it come from? Seems simple right? Of course, pounding the pavement is going to cause TONS of pressure to go into the knee and cause pain in the knee cap... but does it have to?

Inflammation under patella in Runner's Knee
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

What is Runner's Knee?

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome is defined by pain in the front of the knee with exercise or activities that repetitively bend the knee like running, climbing stairs, jumping, etc., or sitting with the knees bent for a long time. It is commonly seen in runners and jumping athletes like basketball and volleyball players, so the names "Runner's Knee" and "Jumper's Knee" became popular. It was thought that swelling and irritation of the patella (or knee cap) rubbing repetitively on the femur underneath of it was the cause of the pain and that anti-inflammatory medication and rest would correct the problem. The pain kept returning!