Can anyone get Runner's Knee?

Runners Knee by Glenn Collera

Runners knee is a mechanical type of pain it is due to repetitive mechanical trauma on the knee joint. The two types of knee dysfunction that are typically associated with “runners knee” are known as Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) or iliotibial band syndrome (IT band syndrome).

lateral aspect of the knee. People with this type of knee disorder often complains of pain around the knee joint during and post activities. Is running the only cause of this type of pain? No! running isn’t the only mechanism of injury with this type of dysfunction. This can also be brought on by repetitive knee flexion and extension activities such in walking, hiking, and biking.

The location of pain can assist in identifying the damage tissues. A proper examination from a physical therapist can assists in diagnosing the issue and causes of the knee pain dysfunction.


- More common in women, teens, and athletes

- Can be caused by muscle imbalance (combination tight and weak muscles) and flat feet

Treatments for this type of pain is usually to decrease/modify the activities causing the pain. Over the counter meds are often used to mitigate pain and swelling. Rest and Ice, kinesio taping, knee brace are also implemented for pain management. But it is important to identify the physical causes and muscle imbalance to treat the knee dysfunction correctly.

IT Band Syndrome

- The IT Band is a long band of flexible fascia that extends from the hip to the knee on the outer side of each leg. The IT band thickens at the knee. If the band is tight – for example, because if insufficient stretching before exercise – it can rub excessively against the femur (thighbone) or iliotibial bursa inside the knee. Continued rubbing can cause the IT band to become swollen and painful.

- Pain symptoms may be described as achy, burning that can radiate up the thigh or hip area. Sometimes pain is worsened when ascending or descending stairs.

- Person may also experience a feeling of clicking, popping, or snapping on the outside of the knee.

Treatments for ITB syndrome is similar to other mechanical knee pain, medical professional advice limiting activities that make your knee pain worse for a while (like running) and returning to these activities gradually. Icing the outside of knee, taking over-the-counter pain medicines. Some may require corticosteroid shots to decrease inflammation. Most people respond to treatment such as pain medicines, ice, stretching and strengthening exercises, and limiting the activity for a while. Worse cases may need surgery to treat the condition.

To answer the title above, Yes EVERYONE can get runners knee! If you experience any of the symptoms above and would like to receive proper treatments for your knee pain. Feel free to shoot us an email or set up an appointment for a consult. Thanks and have a great day outdoors!

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