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All the Ins and Outs of Dreaded Runner's Knee

The first Sunday of every November, millions of spectators line the streets of New York City to cheer on friends, family and even perfect strangers who partake in the world’s largest marathon. As a participant myself in this year’s NYC marathon, I can attest to the pure thrill and joy that I and all my fellow runners felt when we crossed a finish line. But as a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I can also confirm the injuries that my fellow runners and clients endured while training for a marathon. And in all my years of practice, there is no injury that I see as often as runner’s knee.

What Exactly is Runner’s Knee?

Known medically as Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), runner’s knee is a broad term that’s used to describe pain felt in the knee. More specifically, the soreness occurs between the kneecap (patella) and the lower part of the thigh bone (femur). Now, the knee may be the body’s largest joint, but it’s also extremely complex and easy to injure. And all it takes for PFPS to rear its ugly head is for the two joint surfaces to contact in an irregular way over ti