What Is Runner's Knee?
Here's What Causes Runner's Knee — and How a Doctor Says to Prevent It
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Causes of Runner's Knee
The pain of runner's knee is typically related to one of three main conditions, Dr. Pandya said. You can estimate which one you're experiencing based on where the pain is located, but you should see a doctor for an official diagnosis.
- Generalized irritation of the kneecap: pain around the kneecap
- Tendinitis of the patellar tendon, which connects your kneecap to your shinbone: pain below the kneecap
- Tendinitis of the IT (iliotibial) band, which runs down your outer thigh from your pelvis to your shinbone: pain on the outside of your knee, sometimes continuing up your thigh
Your pain may also come from a combination of the three, Dr. Pandya told POPSUGAR. Those conditions are typically caused by:
- Overuse: the most common cause, which can be pushing your mileage too quickly or increasing pace, hills, or intensity before your body is ready.
- Lack of flexibility: "When you're really tight, you're going to place more strain on your knee as opposed to kind of distributing that strain all over the body," Dr. Pandya explained.
- Weak core: A lack of strength in your glutes and abdominals may cause you to place more strain on your knees, Dr. Pandya said.