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Knee Pain

Runner’s Knee Guide for Patients: Causes, Prevention and Treatment

What is Runner’s Knee and What Causes Pain?

Runner’s knee is also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome. Runner’s knee got its name because the syndrome is common for runners. People experience runner’s knee when their kneecap causes friction against the bottom of their thigh bone. Runner’s knee occurs when the cartilage has been eroded and irritation is present.

runner's knee - knee pain

Trauma to the kneecap, misalignment of the kneecap, flat feet, weak or tight thigh muscles, arthritis, a fractured kneecap, overuse of the knee or complete or partial dislocation of the kneecap can cause runner’s knee. Plica syndrome or synovial plica syndrome can also cause runner’s knee. The syndrome causes the lining of the joint to become thickened and inflamed.

The pain of runner’s knee is caused by worn or torn cartilage, strained tendons or the irritation of the soft tissues or lining of the knee.

What Are the Symptoms of Runner’s Knee?

People who have runner’s knee will have knee pain. Many people will describe it as a dull, aching pain around or behind their kneecap. People may feel pain when they’re walking, kneeling, running, sitting for a long time with their knee bent, squatting, sitting down or standing up and climbing and descending stairs. Some people may experience swelling and popping or grinding in their knees.

How to Relieve Runner’s Knee Pain

Stretching and Foam Rolling

Stretching and foam rolling are great exercises to perform as they strengthen the knee and loosen tight calves and quads. Be careful and cautious while performing stretches as it can further irritate the injured knee.

Medical Tape

Applying medical tape is another great way to get temporary relief from runner’s knee. The medical tape that you apply should be rigid athletic tape or kinesiology tape. Applying medical tape to the injured knee has been proven to be effective. It’s been shown that medical tape provides temporary relief from runner’s knee pain in professional athletes.

Research has shown that medical tape is the best option for temporary relief from runner’s knee. Applying the tape loosely or tightly doesn’t matter because loose taping provides just as much relief as tight taping.Flexible kinesiology tape is recommended, and it’s the best option. Kinesiology tape stays on longer, and it’s less likely to irritate skin.

Knee Braces

Research has shown that knee braces can provide temporary relief for people who are suffering from runner’s knee.

Other Options

Doing hip and quadriceps strengthening exercises each day can also help you to get temporary relief. It’s important to complete exercises slowly, and only complete one set of 15 each day until the strength in these areas increases. When the strength in these areas improves, people who have runner’s knee can complete two or three sets of 15 each day.

It’s important that people who have runner’s knee complete strengthening exercises for their lower legs and improve their balance. Glute bridges are an excellent exercise to do to increase lower leg strength and improve balance.

This article provides information on exercise for runner’s knee pain.

Lastly, it’s advised to put ice on the injury after every session of running or jogging.

Treatment Options

Physiotherapy is one treatment option for people who have runner’s knee. Many people who have runner’s knee respond well to physiotherapy treatment. A physiotherapist will complete a physical assessment to determine how to correct the injury.


runner's knee physiotherapy

Massage therapy is another treatment option for people who are suffering from runner’s knee. A qualified massage therapist should have a variety of tools and techniques to help the injury heal. Trigger point therapy, kneading, longitudinal gliding, myofascial release, a compression massage, deep transverse frictions, a Swedish massage and cross-fiber massages help heal runner’s knee.

How Long Does It Take for Runner’s Knee to Heal?

For the injury to heal faster, most treatment plans recommend avoiding running until the injury heals.

Four to six weeks of exercising are necessary for the injury to heal. Usually, it’ll take four to six weeks for the injury to heal, but it may take longer. A doctor or physical therapist should be able to give an accurate estimate on how long it’ll take for the injury to heal.

How to Protect Your Knees While Running

Wearing proper shoes, stretching, cross training, eating healthy and taking supplements are the best way to protect your knees while running. It’s important to avoid overusing the knee as well.

Wearing the right shoes is the most important step people can take to avoid runner’s knee. It’s important that they first find shoes that fit their feet correctly. Many running shoes don’t have proper support to prevent runner’s knee. Always be sure to remove the inserts or insoles that came with the shoes and purchase new ones that offer better support.

Another important step people can take to protect their knees while running is to stretch before they begin running or jogging. Stretching not only prevents runner’s knee, but it also prevents other injuries.

Many people who run for exercise only focus on running. It’s important to cross train. Consistently repeating the same exercise throws the body out of balance. Be sure to add core-strengthening exercises to your routine.

People who run need a variety of supplements and healthy foods to protect their knees while running or jogging. People who run need to maintain healthy joints to prevent injuries. Adults should be getting 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day. People who prefer to eat their calcium have the option of choosing dark green vegetables and dairy products. People who run should be taking 1,500 milligrams per day of glucosamine and 1,200 milligrams a day of chondroitin sulfate.

How We Can Help You

Many people need to participate in a dedicated strength training program to get permanent relief from runner’s knee, and we can help you with that. Many people who experience runner’s knee have come to us for help, and we’ve always been able to help them. Our physiotherapists at Square One Physio in Mississauga can help you get back to the running track again.

Click here to book an appointment.

Related article: Do your knees make a clicking sound when you do squats and lunges?

Sitting on a desk most of the day? You must read this article


Although it’s “just a desk job,” working in an office can wreak absolute havoc on our bodies.

If you’re someone who spends all day at a desk in front of your computer, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Sitting for a desk job seems relaxing but actually, it is not. It is not easy and good for your body to sit continuously for long periods of time. The desk jobs could be more dangerous than what you may think.

According to researchers at Cornell University and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health,

Hunching over a computer is a leading reason why four in five women end up with crippling back pain at some point in their lives.



So, let’s take a quick look at few scary health risks of a desk job and then we will talk about how you can stay healthy while working in an office that requires you to perform your duties while sitting on a chair.

  • Muscular Skeletal Disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Obesity
  • Poor PostureAches and Pains
  • Neck Issues
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What can we do to counteract this office life we have to live?

Alan Hedge, a design and ergonomics professor at Cornell, recommends you change to positions every eight minutes, and take a two-minute “moving break” at least twice an hour.

The best way to do desk job with relaxed body and mind is to perform yoga. You might be thinking how to spare time for performing exercises in such hectic schedule, but believe me here are some really easy and useful yoga exercises which you can even do at your workplace.


1. Wrist and Finger Stretches

Stretch your arms. Place your hands on the table, stretch your hands upward and bend backward with the other hand. Now start rotating your wrist, 5-10 circles inwards and outwards.


Working for long on a keyboard, builds up tension in muscles, tendons in fingers, hands, and wrist. So as to relax your hands and provide them proper blood flow, repeat this exercise after every 2 hours.

2. Seated Crescent Moon Pose

In this pose, stretch your arms touching your ears. Join your hands, stretching your fingers bend to right taking 2-3 long breaths. Repeat on the left side for other 2-3 long breaths.

This pose helps to relax your body so that you can return to your seat with a taller spine, a clearer head, and sharper focus.

3. Chair Pigeon Pose

Sitting on a chair for a long and hunching at a computer may cause neck pain. So here’s an easy and relaxing exercise that may help you to prevent this.

While seated in your chair, both feet flat on the floor, cross your right leg over the left at a 90-degree angle, keeping the foot flexed as to not place pressure on the knee. Maintain equal weight distributed between the sitting bones while staying in an upright seated position.

You should feel gentle to moderate stretch on the outermost part of the right thigh. Hold 5 to 10 breaths before switching sides.

4. Sit and Stand Chair Pose

When we are seated all day, it makes your legs stiff and causes pain in the knees.

Begin seated with your knees bent 90 degrees and your feet flat. Press down from your heels, trying not to move the feet in toward your chair or use your arms, and make your way up to standing.

From standing, slowly sit straight back down, refraining from leaning forward and/or from shifting the hips to one side or the other. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

5. Desk Chaturanga

Your desk can support your yoga pushups! Blasting out a few of these strengthening movements throughout the day reminds the muscles around your neck to relax while energizing the arms, which tends to go soft during the majority of the day.

Rest your hands about shoulder width distance on the edge of your sturdy desk, and step your feet back so your torso is a diagonal line to the floor. Your feet firmly placed, inhale as you bend the elbows to a 90-degree angle, hugging the elbows in towards the ribs.

Exhale and press your chest back up to the starting position. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Yoga gives us relief from countless ailments at the physical level. The practice of the postures strengthens the body and creates a feeling of well-being. From the psychological viewpoint, it sharpens the intellect and aid in concentration; it steadies the emotions and encourages a caring for others.

If you’re working in a position that requires you to sit most of the day, it is high time you talk to our physiotherapists to create an exercise plan for you. 

If you want to book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists, click here to contact us today.

What issues can be treated with needle therapy (acupuncture)

Needle therapy or acupuncture is a therapeutic practice that involves stimulating certain focuses on the body, regularly with a needle entering the skin, to mitigate pain or to treat different health conditions.

On November 5, 1997, a board gathered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) presumed that there is clear confirmation that needle therapy needle treatment is successful for nausea and vomiting from a postoperative condition and in addition chemotherapy, morning sickness, and postoperative dental pain. The 12-part board additionally deduced in their agreement explanation that there are various other pain-related conditions for which needle therapy might be compelling. These conditions incorporate however are not constrained to fibromyalgia (general muscle torment), low back agony, carpal passage disorder, and asthma.

At Square One Physio, we have treated many conditions with acupuncture. Some of the conditions that could be treated with acupuncture are:


Neck pain
Shoulder pain
Tennis elbow
Carpal tunnel
Acute/chronic back pain
Knee pain
Foot pain

Neurological / Nervous System

High blood pressure
Stress disorders
Bell’s Palsy
Trigeminal neuralgia


And many other female health problems
Infertility (female/male)
Menstrual pain


Allergies/hay fever
Common cold
Sore throat


Stomach pain


Smoking Cessation
Car accident complications and more


At Square One Physio, we have trained practitioners in acupuncture. Click here to book an appointment.

Physiotherapy after Hip or Knee Replacement

Hip and knee replacements are common and highly successful operations that bring many people relief from pain and improved mobility. Thousands of these joint replacement operations take place in the North America every year.

At the hospital soon after your surgery, your physiotherapist would have helped you back onto your feet and would have guided you with early post operative exercises. On your return home and in the first few weeks following your surgery, it is important that you continue to get the correct guidance with regards to what walking aids you should be using, what exercises you should be progressing to and how to resume your normal activities. Your new joint may be sore, tender, warm and irritable for several weeks or months and the scar can take time to settle. After having a joint replacement it may be difficult for you to get to your clinic for physiotherapy or you may have not been referred on for any more treatment. Physiotherapy should start as soon as possible particularly on your return home from hospital to help speed your recovery. Research shows it can improve your mobility and activity levels, shorten the amount of time you are off work and it greatly improves your quality of life.

During physiotherapy it is important that goals are set based on what is most important to you. Treatment is generally aimed at improving your strength and range of movement around the particular joint, improving your mobility and stamina and finding ways around any problems you’re experiencing. Your physiotherapist can practice the stairs with you, walking outdoors and even getting on public transport with you to help regain your confidence.

If you know that you’re having surgery coming up, you can get in contact with us and we can set up an initial assessment on your return home from hospital. Click here to contact us or call us at (905) 232-2202.

How can orthotics help you get relief from your foot and back pain?

orthotics physiotherapyy

Orthotics are devices used by physiotherapists and orthopedics to help cure a person of various types of foot conditions like Achilles tendonitis, bunions among other type of ailments like back pain, knee pain etc.

These are made of lightweight materials that range from a simple over-the-counter shoe insert to custom made devices which require analysis of body and foot mechanics to create a cast of it.

Who can benefit from Orthotics?

Anyone can benefit from orthotics if they feel the need for additional support while walking or running. It is very helpful for people who want relief from various foot conditions which cause pain, swelling and discomfort.

Below are certain symptoms which suggest you should see a physiotherapist or an orthopedic –

  • Bunions
  • Flat feet
  • Shin splints
  • Frequent ankle sprains
  • Abnormal wear and tear of shoe from one side
  • Pain in knee, heel or lower back

If you are suffering from any of the above, it is advised to see a specialist immediately. The delay would only make the condition worse.

How is Orthotics made?

When a patient visits a physiotherapist, they will create a cast of his feet. The therapist then analyses the cast and sends it to a lab with certain recommendations. The technician in the lab makes the final cast or positive by pouring plaster into it. When the plaster dries, it forms the exact shape of the person’s feet.  Then custom-orthotic is developed against the shape of the cast and the given recommendations to provide ample support to the foot. This is then sent back to the physiotherapist who fits this custom-orthotic to the patient’s feet. This whole process generally takes a few weeks.

The orthotic made through this process provides support, stability, cushioning and alignment to the patient’s feet, ankles and lower body. This, in turn, enables the patient to become pain-free.

So, if you are experiencing foot pain or any of the above symptoms, feel free to visit our clinic for an expert opinion. We have a great team of experienced physiotherapists which would analyse your foot mechanics and help you get relief from your pain. You can either call us at 905-232-2202 to make an appointment or fill an online form here.

Runner’s Knee- the role of Physiotherapy

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is a knee problem seen in runners, hikers, cyclers, and weightlifters and is more commonly known as Runner’s Knee. You may experience a sharp tingling just above the knee joint or swelling up to your lower thigh. The pain will be felt when your foot strikes the ground.


runner's knee

The best way to treat Runner’s Knee is to avoid weight bearing, apply ice packs, use an elastic bandage around the knee and keep it elevated. When pain and inflammation are reduced, your physiotherapist can help you to regain a wide range of motion in the area.

If you have been affected by Runner’s Knee your physio will also look at exercises to strengthen your gluteals (muscles around your bottom) and may also refer you to an orthopedic shoe specialist for insoles so that your body is aligned properly when you move.

Are you or someone you know suffering from Runner’s Knee? Book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists and we can help you recover form the pain.