Runner’s knee, or patellofemoral pain syndrome, is pain that occurs when the kneecap (patella) is stressed repetitively over time. While the name suggests that this condition most commonly affects runners, it is not limited to athletes. It can happen to anyone.

Runner’s knee is caused by a variety of factors which include overuse of the knee joint, alignment issues, biomechanical anomalies, muscle imbalance or weakness, or injury to the kneecap. It typically affects adolescents and young adults, and females more than males. Patellofemoral pain limits activities such as climbing stairs, kneeling, running, or jumping, but with the right treatment and healing techniques, one can reduce the discomfort.

Runners Knee

A visual of where a patient experiences patellofemoral pain

What are the signs and symptoms of patellofemoral pain?

  • Pain around the kneecap that worsens with activity
  • Pain after sitting with knees bent
  • Pain when walking up or down stairs
  • Clicking or popping sound when bending the knee

What type of runner’s knee treatment is available in Singapore?

Understanding the cause of patellofemoral pain is important before our podiatrist can suggest an appropriate treatment. Typically, a runner’s knee does not require any surgical treatment, as we have shared with our patients in Singapore. Surgeries will only be recommended if the cartilage is damaged or the kneecap is displaced. Apart from pain-relief medications which can be prescribed, the popular RICE technique is also advised:

  • Rest: Avoid stressing the knee too much.
  • Ice: Apply an ice pack or a packet of frozen peas to reduce swelling and pain. Do not use heat.
  • Compression: Wrap the knee with a tight bandage but ensure that you still have enough space for smooth blood flow to prevent swelling below the knee.
  • Elevation: Put a pillow below the knee when lying or sitting down to prevent it from swelling even further. If the swelling increases, you can raise the feet above your knee and the knee above the level of the heart.

Latest Research Links

Should you be experiencing patellofemoral pain, read up on the following research and understand more about treatment options and preventive techniques. Feel free to speak to our podiatrist to discuss your queries.

Foot exercises and foot orthoses are more effective than knee focused exercises in individuals with patellofemoral pain

Gender differences in the incidence and prevalence of patellofemoral pain syndrome

Learn more about runner’s knee treatment from our podiatrist in Singapore

You may meet our podiatrist to seek runner’s knee or patellofemoral pain treatment by ringing our Singapore clinic at +65 6464 8654. Those in Kuala Lumpur can reach our podiatrists in Malaysia at +603 7710 5244.

Kardem Kiter
Article by Kardem Kiter, Specialist Podiatrist
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