Prevea Health

Runner's Knee: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

 
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Runner's Knee, also called Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, occurs from overuse of the knee in sports or activities such as running.

Treatment Options

  • Place ice pack on sore area for 20 minutes at a time, two to three times per day. Another option is to do an ice massage. Freeze water in a paper cup and peel the top of the cup away to expose the ice. Massage over the injured area for 5 to10 minutes at a time, two to three times per day.
  • Make sure you check your shoes to make sure they are not broken down. If you don't know when you bought them, it is time for a new pair. Otherwise, you make sure you change them every 400 miles.
  • Place Infrapatellar straps underneath the knee or use neoprene knee sleeves to help support your knee and patella.
  • Make sure you are stretching your hamstrings and quads regularly after being active.


Strengthening Exercises

Quadriceps Sets
Quadriceps Sets

  • Sit on a solid surface with your legs straight.
  • Tighten the quad muscles by pushing knees down into surface. Hold the position for 10 seconds.
  • Slowly return to start position and relax.
  • Do three sets of 10 repetitions.



Keep your leg straight with toes pulled toward your knee, and lift your leg off the surface about eight inches.Lie on your back on a firm but padded surface with both legs straight.Straight Leg Raise

  • Lie on your back on a firm but padded surface with both legs straight.
  • Bend the knee on your uninjured side with the foot flat on the floor.
  • Tighten your quadricep on your injured side.
  • Keep your leg straight with toes pulled toward your knee, and lift your leg off the surface about eight inches. Hold for five seconds. Slowly return leg to surface and relax.
  • Do three sets of 10 repetitions.      



Shift your weight onto your injured leg. Straighten your injured leg as the other leg comes off the floor.Stand upright with a three to six inch step to your side.Lateral Step Ups

  • Stand upright with a three to six inch step to your side.
  • Stand with the foot of you injured leg on the step. Keep your other foot flat on the floor.
  • Shift your weight onto your injured leg. Straighten your injured leg as the other leg comes off the floor.
  • Slowly return to starting position by bending your injured leg and lowering your uninjured leg back to the floor.
  • ​Start with 1 set of 10 repetitions. Increase number of sets when exercise seems easy.


Everyone recovers from an injury at a different rate. Once you can fully straighten and bend your knee, walk and squat all without pain, you can start with a short jog and increase your activity as tolerated.

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