Runners Knee, How To Prevent The Most Common Running Injury

Prevent Runners Knee

Runners knee accounts for Forty-two percent of all overuse injuries


Runner’s knee is the most common overuse injury among runners. Work these two moves into your routine to prevent runner’s knee.

runners knee

This injury occurs when a mistracking kneecap (patella) irritates the femoral groove in which it rests on the thighbone (femur).

Pinpointing a single cause is difficult. It could be a bio mechanical problem- the patella may be larger on the inside than the outside. It may sit too high in the femoral groove, or it may dislocate easily.

Also worn cartilage reduces shock absorption; high arched feet provide less cushioning and flat feet or knees that turn in or out excessively can pull the patella sideways.

There are also muscular causes for runners knee. Tight hamstrings and calf muscles put pressure on the knee, and weak quadriceps muscles can cause the patella to track out of alignment.It can affect one or both knees and strikes mostly younger, recreational runners and it affects twice as many women as men. Women have wider hips which results in a greater angling of the thighbone to the knee, this puts the kneecap under more stress.

Symptoms include tenderness behind or around the patella, you may also feel pain towards the back of the knee, a sense of cracking or that the knee is going to give out.Steps, hills and uneven terrain can aggravate the symptoms.

How to prevent this

Run on softer surfaces, keep mileage increase to less than 10 percent a week and gradually increase hill work in your program.

Make sure you are the right shoe for your foot type and gait. Strengthening your quadriceps and stretching your hamstrings and calves will go along way to preventing this.

Hamstring stretch

Stand in front of a chair and place your heel on it. Keep your back straight and lean forward from the hips until you feel a stretch down the back of your legs. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch sides and repeat 2 to 3 times.

Straight leg lifts

Lie down and bend your left knee and plant your left foot on the ground. Take 2 to 4 seconds to raise and lower your right leg, keeping your knee relatively straight.Do 10 reps, switch legs to complete one set. Work up to 10 sets.

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