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Knee Exercises

Runners Knee Stretches

Minute Read

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Posted 5 months ago

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Last updated: 04/12/2022

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by James McCormack

Runner’s knee is a painful condition of inflammation to the retropatella surface, it is also known as “Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome”. The patella has a convex shape which corresponds to the groove of the femur that it sits in. Because the patella sits in the tendon of the quadriceps muscle it is susceptible to alterations of its angle and positioning if the muscle or surrounding connective tissue is tight. This can result in an altered movement of the patella through the groove of the femur when the knee is bent and can increase the pressure on the underside of the patella, resulting in pain behind the knee cap.

Diagram of patellofemoral pain syndrome runners knee

Stretches for Runners Knee

Quadriceps Stretch

Standing straight, on one leg, bend your knee and take hold of your ankle. Ensure your knees are parallel and your hips are pushed forwards and that there is no bend at your waist. Pull your ankle closer to your buttocks to feel a stretch across the front of your thigh and hip.

  • Hold for 45 seconds and repeat 3 or more times per day

Hamstring Stretch

Step forwards with one leg and bend from your hips keeping a straight back. Have your hands on the leg that is stepped forwards to keep your knee straight, and bend further from your hips to feel a stretch at the back of your thigh. Keep you foot flat on the floor throughout.

  • Hold for 45 seconds and repeat 3 or more times per day

Glute Stretch

Lying on your back, cross one angle over the opposite thigh. Bright that thigh up towards your chest with your hands. Pull your leg closer to you to feel a stronger stretch across the back of your hip.

  • Hold for 45 seconds and repeat 3 or more times per day

Calf Stretch

Stand with your feet off the edge of a step. Hold onto a wall for balance. Lower your heels down off the step while keeping your knees straight, to fee the stretch at the back of your lower leg.

  • Hold for 45 seconds and repeat 3 or more times per day

Foam Roller for Runners Knee

Quadriceps Foam Roll

Lie with a foam roller under your thighs, supporting your weight on your hands or forearms. You can either have both thighs on the roller or just one by crossing your legs as shown in the picture. Slowly move the roller on your muscle, stopping or slowing over any specific points of tenderness or tightness. This should feel like a strong pressure but not be extremely painful.

  • Roll slowly for 2-5minutes and repeat 1-2 times per day

Physiotherapy with James McCormack

This is not medical advice. We recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments for £45.

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