Runners knee is the informal name for patellofemoral pain syndrome. Runners knee is a common overuse injury that affects many runners, and it can also be prevalent in other athletes such as skiers or cyclists.
Runners knee feels like an aching pain around the bottom of your kneecap, either on the inside or outside. It can be a sharp pain at times, which will increase with physical activity, and it might make exercising uncomfortable.
The reason this injury is known as "runners knee" is because of its prevalence in running athletes. People who run long distances tend to develop runners knee due to excessive force put through their knees during each stride when they run. This repeated impact puts strain on your patella (also known as your kneecap), and over time, this repeated fatigue can cause damage to the tissue around your patella resulting in pain and inflammation.
Symptoms: The main symptom of runners knee is pain around the front or side of your knee. You may also experience pain that travels up and down your kneecap, and weakness in your quadriceps (thigh) muscles.
Identifying if you have this injury really depends on how severe it is, but there are a few ways you can determine if you do indeed have patellofemoral pain syndrome:
Repetitive activities such as running or sports participation with "kneeling" movements like landing from a jump can trigger symptoms. Your knee will give you one-sided, sharp pain every time you bend or straighten it. The pain occurs at the bottom part of your kneecap where it meets the top layer of cartilage. It may also radiate around the kneecap onto your thigh. You will experience tenderness, swelling, and stiffness in the knee joint.
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