Knee pain is probably the biggest complaint from runners. Generally the type of injuries which runners sustain to their knees are overuse injuries which develop gradually, starting as a niggle and then not going away. Sometimes they return at the same point on every run.
Patellofemoral pain (or patella mal-tracking) is the biggest problem which I see really regularly. This is followed by IT band syndrome. Pes anserinus tendinitis is far less common but I have seen a couple of cases in my 8 years as a therapist!
Knee pain in runners is often caused by muscle imbalances from the hip joint, rather than problems at the knee itself. Flexibility and strength in the hips is so important in injury prevention and rehab of knee injuries.
Knee pain and injuries
Patellofemoral pain syndrome (or patella mal-tracking / anterior knee pain) is characterised by a diffuse pain around the front of the kneecap which is hard to pin point and may be worse after running.
IT band syndrome
IT band syndrome (ITBS / ITBFS – F standing for friction which is a bit outdated now!) causes pain on the outer knee, especially when running down hill. It tends to come on at the same point in every run and disappear afterwards.
Pes anserinus tendinitis
The pes anserine tendon is a group of three tendons which merge on the inner knee, below the knee cap. There is also a bursa in this region which can become inflamed.
The Popliteus muscle is found at the back of the knee joint and is responsible for ‘unlocking’ the knee from a position of full extension.