T Nation

Runner's Knee - Need Advice


I wanted to start running before I started playing baseball this year. I started running a mile and a half to two miles every day. I was running on asphalt with And 1 basketball shoes. It wasnt a good combination and it gave me runners knee right before the tournament this weekend.

During the tournament i couldn't run. i could bearly even jog. It is only painful to run, and i can walk without pain. What is the treatment for this condition? i looked it up online and it says to just ice it.


Not much you can do but rest. I had it a couple of years ago and just quit running for a couple of weeks. When I started back up, I'd only run on a treadmill. Running on concrete is too hard on your knees. So only do it when you cant on a treadmill.

So rest, take glucosamine/chrontidin religously for your cartilidge to come back, ice it, more rest, and only run on a treadmill when going for a jog.


I have the same problem if I start running after a long hiatus but I find that regular stretching of the hamstrings to loosen them up as well as doing lots of unilateral leg work like lunges and split squats to strengthen the area over the patella really help.


I love running but age has forced me to change the way I run. No more distance I can only run short distances ,but I can get a pretty good work out if I combine it with other exercises .I had to change my gate , when I was young I run on the ball of my feet . Now my power comes from my ass. Recover and good luck to you.


You've made the mistake that many people do. If you are going to run on a regular basis most need to stick to some basic rules"

1-Don't run everyday. Every other day, or three times per week is plenty. I don't care what the 135lb. freaks are doing. Do you want to look like that?

2-Find the best running shoes that you can afford and only run with them so the tread on the bottom does not wear out quickly.

3-Only run on a specially treated track (one that gives like grass). If you don't have access to one then only run on grass. This makes a huge difference from your foot right up to your neck!

There are other things you can do but the three above are the most important.

As to your current condition you need to use plenty of ICE. At least 5 times per day. And also stay off your feet as much as possible for the next week or so.

Good Luck,



Becareful exactly how much ice you use. This is a common misconception among endurance athletes passed down from track athletes. It is sort of in the mantra that you ICE down after a big run. Unless you have an acute injury, you really shouldn't be icing all day.

Inflammation is bad but it also is good. Before you start icing like a mad man take a look at the stupidity that is causing your problem.

Your first problem is that you just went out and hit up a 1-2 miles from nothing.

That is bad enough but you did them in POS BASKETBALL SHOES! BASKETBALL SHOES for 1-2 miles!?!?

Get yourself a pair of running shoes. Do a proper warm up and a proper cool down.

CONTRAST when you finish. You don't want just plain ice. You need to flush out the bad but keep the good inflammation. Flowing inflammation is good because it also brings in the GOOD stuff.

Icing all day is completely unneccessary and will probably give you more harm than good. More importantly you need FIX what is causing the problem.


Proper Equiptment

Start at lower mileage

Proper Warm-up

Proper Cool Down (STRETCHING)



Why are you running 2 Miles for Basketball!? You should be doing Sprints and Recovery.


I just have to say this 1 more time.

Stop running MILES when you are on a BASKETBALL COURT.

Your whole game is sprinting and recovering. So thats what you should practice. Not once are you continuously running for 2 miles.


That is an interesting take on the matter, regarding ice.

I have always used the ice strategy to my great benefit through the years. Icing five times per day for the first three days brought me great relief and usually helped the injury heal faster.

The theory behind this is simple. When you freeze the area you do reduce the inflammation, but that is secondary. When you remove the ice the new blood comes rushing back in to warm the area and brings with it added nutrients.

I have still not seen anything better. And to this day I will ice any sort of injury for the first 3 or even 4 to 5 days depending on its severity. After that I use ice and then heat alternating.

It seems if this was harmful or didn't work I would not have gotten the results that I have enjoyed through my many years of training.

If there is a new protocol which can be backed up by stidies on real people I would love to read about it.

Otherwise, KEEP ICING!


Yu should always use for the first 48 hours of an acute injury.

While this might have an "acute" onset. Runner's knee isn't an acute injury.

If you're on a low pain issue you should use heat whenever possible.

Ice should be reserved for acute instances or excruciating pain.

ICE not only stops inflammation it slows the metabolism of the cell. That is why it is used on an acute injury, to reduce the needed oxygen to the area and prevent further tissue damange.

IF you are talking about someone that NEEDS to recover, slowing down the metabolism of the cell is not what you want. He needs to speed the recovery so that he can get back on his feet.

There are schools of thoght that go in many many directions.

In my many many many miles of running, nothing has brought better repeated success then reserving ice for the acute stuff, contrast for sudden onset yet overuse injuries, and heat for general recovery.

Timing also has a lot to do with this.

ZEB, I fully respect your differing opinion, as I said there are many different schools of thought on this. Thats one of the beauties of Sports Med.

On the other hand, we probably shouldn't be debating an issue that will likely be resolved by getting a pair of running shoes and training properly.


If you indeed are suffering from so called runner's knee, there are also some training modifications other than that rest that will help. Here's a great description on Patellofemoral syndrome (or patellofemoral pain syndrom ie runner's knee) by Eric Cressey.

Patellofemoral syndrome is really just a garbage term that many clinicians use to describe a host of tracking problems. Different tracking problems are going to require different approaches. However, the most common one you'll see is lateral patellar tracking. Most people will be fine with rack pull variations and good mornings - really anything that doesn't require a ton of motion at the knees in the closed-chain position. Meanwhile, you do a ton of activation work at the hips (gluteus medius, minimus, and maximus), knees (VMO), and ankles (dorsiflexors) while improving mobility at these three joints simultaneously; things just shake free as you loosen up the quads, hamstrings, ITB/TFL, hip flexors (especially rectus femoris) and piriformis.