Suffering From Runner’s Knee? Fix it With These 3 Tips

Fixing Runner's Knee
By Fara Rosenzweig

Runner’s knee, also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome, is one of the most common injuries seen in runners.

You may feel this pain while running, as sharp and sudden or dull and chronic, according to Jim and Phil Wharton of Runner’s World. The pain may also return after your workout, leaving you wondering what could be wrong. If this pain is below your kneecap, and gets progressively worse, consider the following tips. If the pain continues see your doctor or a physical therapist to diagnose what might be a larger issue.

Myofascial Release

This is the technical term for foam rolling. In the case of runner’s knee, you need to use the foam roller to massage and release pressure in the fascia around your IT band.

Be aware of what type of foam roller you’re using, which ranges from standard to extra firm. The firmer (harder) the foam roller is, the more intense and likely painful the rolling will be.

Spend just 10 to 20 seconds on each area of your quad muscle, rolling the nearby muscles first, and gently working the area where you feel the most pain toward the end.


Runner’s knee can be the result of weak quads, which aren’t strong enough and therefore put more pressure on your knees than is safe. Strengthening your quad muscles helps them handle the workload of running. Add these exercises to your next gym session, and continue doing them one to two times a week until you feel relief.

Squats with a Swiss ball: Lean against a Swiss ball that’s up against the wall. Squat down and return to standing to complete one rep.

Leg extension with band: Attach one end of your resistance band to a pole and tie the other to your ankle. Extend the resistance band leg so that the knee is locked and return to start to complete one rep.

Reduce Intensity and Frequency

If you’re noticing post-running pain, your runner’s knee has worsened. Use this as a cue to add more strength workouts to your routine and temporarily reduce the intensity and frequency of your runs. When the pain begins to fade you can slowly increase the time and workload of your run, while still focusing on foam rolling and quad strengthening.

We know runners have a hard time stopping when injured. If you must run, wear a brace for runner’s knee to help support your knee joint and ramp up physical therapy.

Don’t ignore knee pain, as it could be runner’s knee, which can be cured by focusing on a strength training routine and taking care of your body. Use these tips to make sure you aren’t sidelined for good and can enjoy doing what you love—running.