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Patellar/Runner’s Knee

What is runner’s knee?

The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body.  This joint joins the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia).  There are also two other bones making the knee: the smaller bone running alongside the tibia (fibula) and the kneecap (patella).

Patellar tendonosis/tendonitis (runner’s knee) occurs when the patellar tendon on the undersurface of the kneecap gets inflamed.  This is common among young, athletic individuals and also adults with arthritis of the knee.

Common Symptoms

When experiencing runner’s knee, you may notice:

  • Pain in front of the kneecap, though it could also be around or behind it
  • Pain when bending to walk, squat, kneel, run or get up from a chair
  • Pain that increases when you walk downstairs or downhill


Runner’s knee is not specific to runners.  In fact, it can be caused by a number of things:

  • Overuse
  • A direct hit to the knee
  • Malalignment of leg bones (from hip to ankles)
  • Foot problems (fallen arches, hypermobility, overpronation)
  • Weak or unbalanced thigh muscles


Though some aspects of treatment remain the same over a number of cases, for the most part, the treatment of runner’s knee is individualized on a case-by-case basis as there are several options for treating runner’s knee.  Chiropractic adjustments for runner’s knee involve gentle manipulation of soft tissue within the knee and kinetic chain adjustments. These adjustments can help to restore normal functioning and reduce pain quickly when paired with rehabilitation exercises.

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