Runner's Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)

Avid runners may frequently experience pain and discomfort behind or around the kneecap, commonly referred to as runner's knee, following a run.

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Daniel
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Daniel

Overview

Runner's knee, also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), is a common condition that causes pain around the kneecap (patella). It's a broad term encompassing several different issues that can affect the kneecap, the cartilage underneath it, and the surrounding tissues.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is the misalignment of the kneecap against the thigh bone which causes tracking disorder during knee movement. It often feels like a dull ache at the front of your knee or on the sides near the patella. However, it might feel like a sharp or stabbing pain during physical activities like when you’re running, jumping, squatting or climbing the stairs.

Causes of patellofemoral pain syndrome

The primary cause of PFPS is often poor biomechanical function of the lower limb, affecting the way the leg functions during walking and exercise.

This can result from inadequate control around the hip and/or poor foot function, such as flat foot, which can be addressed through customised foot orthotics or insoles.

Some contributing factors that can worsen the symptoms include:

  • Muscular weakness or imbalances in the front of the thigh (quadriceps)
  • Malalignment between the knee cap and thigh bone
  • Increased levels of physical activities
  • Improper training techniques or equipment

How is it diagnosed?

Podiatrists will conduct a comprehensive physical examination and gait analysis. Imaging tests such as X-rays can be helpful to rule out conditions like chondromalacia patella (kneecap arthritis), which is often associated with patellofemoral pain syndrome.

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Common Symptoms

Pain or stiffness in the kneecap
Pain is worse when the knee undergoes flexion and extension motions
Excessive grinding, popping, and clicking sounds on knee flexion
Sitting in a bent knee position for too long may also trigger pain

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Made my first orthotics insole for flat foot problem back in 2018; went for 5km, 10km, and half marathon with no more pain. Just did a consultation after 5 years, as expected the front staff was friendly, accomodating, & informative; the podiatrist Ms Millicent was amazing, she explained and fix my shoe problem with ease. This place is recommended if youre a runner, frequent runner etc who have problem with your ankle, knee, or leg.

Teo YR
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Our Podiatry Care Strategy

100% non-invasive methods

A lower limb specialist, such as a podiatrist, will be able to perform a thorough foot assessment using diagnostic tools, such as a musculoskeletal diagnostic ultrasound to determine the source of your foot pain. If surgery is required, your podiatrist will refer you to a trusted foot and ankle doctor for surgical solutions.

A thorough assessment

Immobilising the area with splints

Utilising technological therapies

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Daniel

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Daniel Joseph
Podiatrist

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