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Why Do My Knees Hurt When I Exercise?

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

Runners Knee


Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) or Runners Knee can affect runners at all ability levels. It is characterised by dull and generalised pain around and behind the knee cap. Despite the name, this pain can occur with many other activities including cycling, walking or even squats.


Quite often, this pain is the result of a incorrectly tracking patella. A valgus knee position such as pictured below can be caused by excessive pronation in your feet (flat feet). This places the tendons and ligaments surrounding your knee in a position where pain can develop.



Symptoms of Runners Knee

  • A dull ache behind or around the knee cap.

  • This pain is typically brought on by repeated bending of the knee. This can be during activities such as running, cycling, squatting and climbing up and down stairs

  • Extended periods of sitting with a bent knee can also be painful. This can include sitting at work or the cinema.

  • Occasionally the knee can swell or even have a ‘grinding’ sensation when moving.


What can be done to treat Runners Knee?


By improving the position of the leg and knee, we can reduce the stress placed on the knee joint. At My Family Podiatry, we treat Runners Knee through a combination of:

  • Custom Foot Orthotics: By reducing the “rolling in” of the feet, we can improve the knee position and subsequently stop the pain from occurring.

  • Strength Training: Identifying areas of weakness which may be contributing to the development of the pain allows for a tailored strength program to be developed. This program aims to place the leg in a more optimal position where the muscles can function efficiently.

  • Soft Tissue Therapy: Stretching, foam rolling and even RockBlades can be used to release the muscles of the legs and improve the functioning of the knee joint. This release work typically focuses on the lateral leg muscles and stretching of the muscles responsible for internal rotation of the femur.


Knee pain shouldn’t stop you exercising. At My Family Podiatry, we have the experience to get you back to training and ensure Runners Knee is not an issue anymore. So if you or someone you know has been suffering from this, please call us on 07 3088 6116 or click the link above to book in at one of our three convenient locations.

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