Knee Injuries

The knee is one of the most commonly injured areas in runners.

These injuries can include:

  • Runners knee – see information sheet on Ilio-tibial band friction syndrome
  • Anterior knee pain or Chondramalacia patellae is when the under surface of the knee cap becomes damaged

Patellar tendonitis is when the tendon below the knee cap becomes inflamed or damaged The causes of all of the above are usually related to training, footwear and biomechanics.

Physiotherapists should diagnose the condition and if necessary refer you on for further investigations e.g. xray or scan. If physiotherapy is indicated they will treat the cause of the problem using primarily exercises to stretch and strengthen the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. Improving Core Stability around the hips and pelvis is vital in the management of knee problems. They may use massage skills to release the structures around your knee that contribute to the problem.

If there is a structural problem they may refer you to a podiatrist for further analysis of your biomechanics, it may be that it will require the use of orthotics to settle the problem.

Runners Knee

The Iliotibal band (ITB) is a connective tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh – it acts to stabilise the hip and knee during the stance phase of running. Iliotibal band friction syndrome also called ‘Runners knee’ is highly common in elite and recreational distance runners alike. Those particularly susceptible are endurance runners who are building up their mileage.

As an official London Marathon Injury Clinic, we see a lot of this condition in the build up to the race and have loads of experience dealing with it successfully.

Pain will be felt on the outside of the thigh typical on the outside of the knee and in the early stages will increase as the run progresses. The other group of runners who suffer this injury are ‘fell runners’ who aggravate the problem whilst descending.

The causes of all of the above are usually related to training but more often than not biomechanics typically reduced control of the hip by the gluteal muscles.

Physiotherapists should diagnose the condition and will treat the cause of the problem using primarily deep tissue massage to the ITB, self massage using a foam roller is often recommended. Exercises are very important to strengthen the quadriceps and improve core stability particularly in the gluteal muscles. Stretches to release any tightness in the ITB and hip muscles may also be given. Acupuncture is very effective in helping release muscle tension and reducing inflammation on the outside of the knee. The problem will settle with a gradual return to training accompanied by a hip core stability exercise programme.

Where do you hurt?
- Click the area on the image

Where do you hurt? Foot Pain Shin Split and Calf Injuries Knee Injuries Head Neck Groin Hand Hand Hand Abdominal Shoulder Shoulder Shoulder Back Tricep Tricep Bicep Bicep Chest Quads Hamstring Glutes