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  • Catherine Wasik


THE KNEE AND ITS ANTOMY The knee is a complex pivotal hinge joint, it connects the bones in the upper and lower leg, and comprises of muscle, ligaments, tendons, and the meeting of four bones: the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella.

Running and runners knee

Running has been taken up by many people to improve health and fitness and to aid in weight control. This pasttime, in excess, can be particularly heavy on the joints of knee and, if care is not taken to balance and tone the tissues and joints of the legs and buttocks, poor biomechanical patterns can ensue.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), or runner's knee, is associated with irritation where the kneecap (patella) rests on the thighbone. The resulting pain can be sharp and sudden or dull and chronic and it is located behind or/and around the knee cap, pain can also be felt at the back of the knee and a sense of cracking or that the knee is giving out can also be experienced. It may disappear while you're running, only to return again afterward. While biomechanical issues may be to blame for runner's knee, the cause can often be traced back to poorly conditioned quadriceps, tight hamstrings and buttock and pelvic muscle imbalance.

Steps, hills, and uneven terrain can aggravate runners knee

Runners knee is more common in females due to the shape of a womens pelvis.

Prevention is better than cure.- Runners knee

To prevent runners knee, run on softer surfaces, keep mileage increases less than 10 % per week, and gradually increase hill work in your program. Visit a specialty running shop to make sure you're wearing the proper shoes for your foot and gait. Strengthening your quadriceps will improve patellar tracking, and stretching your hamstrings and calves will prevent overpronation, toning and balancing the buttock and pelvic muscles will encourage effective running gait.

The publication Runners World is a useful source of information. To see further exercises for the hip/pelvis view the videos on

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