Runner's knee is an umbrella term for any condition that causes pain in the front of the knee. It's common among skiers, bicyclists, soccer players and others whose knees are under frequent strain.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests how to reduce the risk of runner's knee:
- Get regular exercise to stay physically fit and avoid weight gain.
- Gently stretch your muscles before any exercise.
- Increase the intensity or duration of your workouts gradually -- not all at once.
- When you run, wear appropriate running shoes with a sturdy, supportive construction.
- Practice good form when running. Bend your knees and lean forward slightly.
Health Tip: You Don't Have to Run to Get Runner's Knee
Patellofemoral pain, commonly called runner's knee, describes a host of conditions that cause a dull pain in the front of the kneecap where it connects to the thighbone.
Activities that put heavy stress on the knees increase the risk of runner's knee. Besides people who run, skiers, cyclists and soccer players may develop runner's knee, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says.
The academy mentions these contributing factors for development of runner's knee:
- A poorly aligned kneecap.
- A dislocated knee.
- Another type of injury to the knee.
- Training too vigorously or overusing the knee.
- Thigh muscles that are weak, improperly balanced, or tight.
- Flat feet.