Runners Knee

Not uncommon amongst those training for a marathon, runner’s knee is the result of a thickening of the Ilio-tibial (band of tissue) on the outside of the leg where the quadriceps muscles sit. Running causes it to hit against the outside of the femur resulting in pain. The knee is also lifted from its normal running position and pain in the knee cap develops.

How to tell if you have runners knee

You experience

  • Pain in the area around the knee
  • The knee clicking when you move
  • Tenderness from hip to knee, outside the leg. It also feels tight.
  • Pain running downhill

Patello-femoral Pain Syndrome

Patello-femoral pain syndrome is a type of pain experienced at the front of an individual’s kneecap. It is caused by the muscles in the thigh pushing the knee cap from its normal groove on the thigh bone. When this happens the knee cap rubs against cartilage, resulting in pain.

How to tell if you have patella-femoral pain syndrome

You experience:

  • Pain in the area around the outside of the knee
  • Pain after sitting for long periods
  • Tight quadriceps, calf and hamstrings
  • A clicking of the knee on bending

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear

Running from the back of the thigh bone and down the shin bone, the anterior cruciate is usually torn as a result of the knee twisting when the foot lands. Sometimes an untoward tackle can also cause the injury.

How to tell if you have symptoms of an anterior cruciate ligament tear

You experience:

  • Difficulty straightening the knee
  • A swollen knee
  • Pain in the knee area

Medial Collateral Ligament Tear

Running along the inside of the knee, the medial collateral ligament joins the thigh and shin bones together. It tends to get torn when a force is pressed against the knee, creating a gap. The tear can be to different degrees ie from grade 1 to 3.

How to tell if your medial collateral ligament is torn

You experience:

  • Swelling at the knee and it feels tender
  • An unstable knee

Growing Pains

Affecting up to 45 per cent of youngsters, growing pains tend to
hit between the ages of seven and 12. They are caused by the muscles
and not the bones. One hypothesis is that during a ‘growth spurt’,
a child bones grow rapidly. The muscles which surround these bones
struggle to keep up with the speed of the bone growth and therefore,
as they are stretched, become very tight. They pull on their
attachments via their tendons, which can be very painful, and can
sometimes result in conditions such as Osgood Schlatters.  Growing
pains tend to make themselves known after a day of heavy exertion.

Although they are fairly common and can be painful and distressing, growing pains will not cause long-term damage.


How to recognise growing pains:

  •  Cramp-like pain
  • The calves and thighs are most commonly affected
  • The pain occurs after a lot of running around or a busy day
  • knees