3 Common Running KNEE Injuries & Preventive Exercise.

We all love to run. Count the numbers of running events we have around the year. From SC Marathon, Spartan Race, Sundown and the list goes on and on and on….

Running is a great exercise to maintain good health and people run for many reasons- for weight lost, for charity, for triathlon and the list goes on. But just like any sports, it can also be a source of injury. And the most common running injuries are overuse injuries of the knee. Overuse injuries of the knee happen over time through repetitive motion rather than because of a single traumatic incident.

Overuse injuries often occur when a person starts or intensifies a running program without 1) warmup, 2) stretching and 3) muscle conditioning. And here is the fact; even a season runner will not be spared from an overuse injury with years of training under his/her belt.

This is what you need to know, the knees experience pressure equal to approximately 3 times the body’s weight when walking and approximately 5 times the body’s weight when running. For example, if you weigh 70kg you will put about 350kg of pressure on your knee every time you land with each leg words.

Without further a do, let’s look at the 3 common running knee injuries and the recommended preventive exercise.

knee pain

Runner’s knee: Patellar Pain Syndrome (PPS)

Patella Pain Syndrome also sometimes known as Runner’s knee is a result of the kneecap rubbing against one side of the joint. The pain is usually felt at the front of the knee, under or around the edges of the knee cap. Patellar Pain occurs when walking upstairs, kneeling, squatting or sitting with a bent knee for a long period of time. A numbers of factor can contribute to a runner’s patellar pain:

  • Injury
  • Excessive training or overuse
  • Tightness, imbalance or weakness of thigh core and pelvic muscle
  • Inadequate stretching

Patellar pain is just like migraines, x-rays and MRIs are often normal but the pain can be extreme. Runners with Patellar Pain need to look into their other activity that may trigger the syndrome but I am not suggesting that you should not get a check-up done.

Preventive Exercise Recommendation:

  • Warmups: Star jumps or jog on the spot.
  • Stretching: Standing Quadriceps Stretch, Figure 4 Hamstring Stretch Calf Stretch & Piriformis Stretch.
  • Strengthening: Quadriceps/Hamstring builder– Squats with dumbbell or resistance band & Deadlift with Dumbbell. Core, Hips & Pelvis Builder– Plank, Side Waling with Resistance Band, Glutes Bridge and Barbell Squat.
  • Sports Massage: Release tightness on the quadriceps, hamstring, calf and glutes muscle to improve ROM.


liotibial (IT) band syndrome
Iliotibial band syndrome is an overuse syndrome that can affect both novice and experienced runners. Runners with IT band syndrome often reports a gradual onset tightness or pain outside of the knee. A number of factors that may contribute to ITB syndrome:

  • overtraining,
  • running on uneven surface,
  • muscle imbalance
  • muscle weakness

The iliotibial band is a thick piece of fibrous tissue that begins at the hip and run along the outside of the thigh, and attaches to the top of the shinbone. IT band syndrome happens when the IT band becomes tight from strain or overuse. It can rub against the lateral condyle and become inflamed anf causing pain.

The IT band pain is often worsening when the runner is running downhill

Preventive Exercise Recommendation:

  • Warmups: Star jumps or jog on the spot.
  • Stretching Pretzel ITB, Side Leaning (Injured leg behind) and Piriformis Stretch,
  • Strengthening: Side Lying Abduction (Clam Shell) Leg Press Machine, Wall Squats with ball and front stepping on steps.
  • Sports Massage: Release tightness on the on the IT Band, Glutes and TFL.


Patellar tendinitis
Patellar tendinitis or jumper’s knee can cause pain at the front of the knee, at the lower kneecap or the bony bump at the top of the shin. Patellar tendinitis is when the patellar tendon that connects muscle between the knee cap and shin bone becomes inflamed.

Patellar tendinitis tends to be an overuse injury that is more common among runners especially those who run uphill and downslope or activities that requires start-stop and pivoting.

Some of the more conservative treatment for jumper’s knee are quadriceps strengthening, stretching or knee sleeve.

Preventive Exercise Recommendation:

  • Warmups: Jog on the spot.
  • Stretching: Standing Quadriceps Stretch, Figure 4 Hamstring Stretch & Calf Stretch.
  • Strengthening: Quadriceps-Lock and Lift isometrics exercise and Concentration VMO exercise
  • Sports Massage: Release tightness on the quadriceps, Infrapatellar, Popliteal tendon, hamstring and glutes muscle to improve ROM.

Final Word

Seek medical advise and clearance before starting a new exercise or diet routine.

Become a Client