Runners Knee or Anterior Knee Pain

Most commonly called runners knee, this is a very common injury with runners. The repetitive, demanding nature of running will cause additional forces through your knee. If there is a muscular imbalance this will cause irritation into the tendons on one side of your knee through knee cap (patella) maltracking.

What Part of the Knee is Damaged in Runners Knee?

Your patella or knee cap after putting too much strain on the kneecap after prolonged running. Symptoms of this injury are dull aching type pain around the knee cap (maybe swelling), especially at the top of the knee cap. The pain will be worse upon loading the knee so walking up and downstairs, running after a short distance (maybe 5 miles) and after a run that evening or the following morning.


So we’re talking about the patellofemoral joint, the kneecap joint between the kneecap itself and this little groove that it rides in at the end of the thigh bone. This is a joint that can give people a lot of problems and there’s a lot of ailments that can affect this joint. The thing to understand about this is this is a very high stress joint.

Why Is it Painful Runners Knee

The cartilage coating in this joint is some of the thickest cartilage of any joint in the body. And the reason for that is, is that this joint has some of the highest stress on it of any joint in the body. The quadriceps muscles, the muscles in the front of the thigh, attach to your quadriceps tendon that goes through your patella or your kneecap, and then attaches down onto the shin bone. Those are very strong, powerful muscles that exert a lot of force on this area.


One thing that can happen is those muscles can get very tight over time and what that does is it puts tension in the tendons making them more irritable. But this also creates a situation where you’re essentially taking the patellofemoral joint and tightening it. The kneecap gets bound down in a groove and that can cause a lot of pain.

Can Runners Knee Be Treated

Yes it can, what they try to accomplish with therapy is to help loosen that up. Both the muscle attachments. Loosening up the muscles reduces tension on the tendons, and then also loosens up the ligamentous attachments around the kneecap that can get bound down as well.

What Else Cause Runners Knee


A second thing that can occur is that people can actually have looseness around the patella. The ligaments that stabilise it can be somewhat loose and lax, particularly if someone has generalised loose jointedness. This can cause extra motion in that kneecap joint that can also cause irritation. So the goal here would be strengthening exercises is to help strengthen them and stabilise this kneecap somewhat. This should help some of the irritation that comes from that extra motion and make the pain go away.

Common Questions About Runners Knee

How long does runners knee usually take to heal

as guide expect around 4 to 6 weeks to recover from runners knee. Of course we are alll different and heal at different rates.

Is it wise to walk with runners knee

it will still will be painful walking with runners knee because it still involves the bending of the knee whilst walking. Depending on whats casting your problem you either need too stretch / relax those muscles or strengthen them.

Is it OK to keep jogging with runners knee

Not really as this will just aggravate the surfaces of the knee and thus cause even more pain. It is best to get treatment before continuing running.

More running condition, plantar fasciitis.