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  • Writer's pictureMy Family Podiatry

Runners Knee: A Comprehensive Look into Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

Updated: Mar 25

Sudden knee pain can interrupt your sporting activities. This is where a sports podiatrist comes in. We can take an in-depth look at your pain and target problems such as runners knee.

It's not just about quick fixes, but about customised strategies for pain relief and prevention. Regardless of your performance level, our sports podiatry team will ensure that you progress pain-free.

What is Runner Knee?

Runners Knee, also known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), can strike athletes of all skill levels, presenting a dull, generalised pain around the kneecap.

However, knee problems are not exclusive to runners and the discomfort can surface in many other activities including cycling, walking, or even performing squats.

Typically, Runners Knee or PFPS is a result of a misaligned patella (Kneecap not in right place).

A valgus knee position, where the knees lean inward towards each other, can happen if your feet roll inwards too much when you walk or stand—a problem often linked to having flat feet. This incorrect alignment strains the tendons and ligaments around your knee, leading to pain due to the extra stress.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

What Causes Runners Knee?

Runners Knee usually manifests as a dull ache behind or around the knee cap.

This discomfort tends to arise due to the repeated bending of the knee during activities such as running, cycling, squatting, or climbing up and down stairs.

Sitting for a long time with your knees bent, such as when you're at your desk for hours or watching a lengthy movie at the theatre, can also cause knee pain. This position can strain your knee joints over time, leading to discomfort.

Sometimes, a person with Runners Knee might notice their knee swelling up or feel a grinding sensation inside the joint during movement. These symptoms are additional signs that Runners Knee is the issue.

How Sport Podiatrist Can Treat Runners Knee

Treating Runner Knee requires a comprehensive method focused on correcting the leg and knee alignment and minimising stress on the knee joint.

At My Family Podiatry, we use various methods to achieve effective relief from Runners Knee.

  • Physical Examination We look at the knee for swelling or shape issues, feel it to find where it hurts, check how well the knee moves, and watch how patients walk or run. We also check the strength and stretchiness of leg and hip muscles, and look at the feet to see if their shape could be causing knee problems.

  • Custom Foot Orthotics By reducing the inward rolling (pronation) of the feet, we can improve the position of the knee and alleviate the pain of runners knee.

  • Strength Training Finding weak spots that might be causing pain helps us create a custom exercise plan. Our goal is to help the leg move in a better way so that the muscles work more smoothly, which can help reduce knee pain.

  • Soft Tissue Therapy Stretching, using a foam roller, and sometimes tools like RockBlades help loosen the leg muscles and make the knee joint work better. This process mainly targets the muscles on the outer side of the leg and those that help turn the thigh bone inward.

  • Shockwave Therapy This new, gentle treatment helps the body heal itself by creating new blood vessels and repairing tissues, offering relief from knee pain caused by PFPS (Runners Knee).

Don't let knee pain prevent you from exercising. At My Family Podiatry, we have the expertise to help you return to your workouts and make sure Runners Knee is no longer a problem for you.

If you or someone you know has been suffering with knee pain, please call us on 07 3088 6116 or click the button below to book an appointment.

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