Due to biomechanics women are actually more susceptible to runner’s knee than men. Runners knee is most commonly caused by tightness of the lateral thigh muscles and weak medial thigh and butt muscles. This causes your knee cap to be pulled laterally, aggravating and causing inflammation of the joint surface. Unless you correct the muscular imbalances, and your running technique, the inflammation and pain will only increase.
What are the symptoms?
Usually you will feel pain or tenderness behind your kneecap, or aching in your knee. This pain will be exacerbated during running, when you’re walking up and down stairs and in other situations where you’re loading your thigh muscles with a bent knee.
How can I prevent it?
Training for a race? Avoid dramatic increases in your running load. Instead, go for small increases in your program each week. Also, try running with a shorter stride. A higher cadence running technique will place less stress on your knees. Strengthening and stretching the muscles you use for running is also important. This includes your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves. Additionally, get regular massages and use a foam roller on your quads and IT bands (located on the front and outside of your thigh).
How do I rehabilitate it so I can return to running?
Much of the prevention techniques will also help with your rehabilitation. But firstly you will need to reduce any inflammation. Try icing and elevating your leg. You will need to cut back on traditional running mileage. However, you can do deep water running to maintain your fitness and reduce the load on your knees. You may also need more support in the arch of your shoes, so get fitted for runners at a specialist shop.