Runner's Knee Bonus: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome - Not Just For Runners

For several weeks we have been covering patellar femoral pain syndrome (PFPS), or runner’s knee as many like to call it. However, as with many of the conditions we see, it can be found in more than just one population of people. PFPS can also be caused by other physical activities that put repeated stress on the knee. This can include squatting, jumping, climbing stairs, etc. Along with that, PFPS can occur when you have patellar malalignment, which was touched on in Part 1 of our Runner’s Knee series.

With most PFPS we see, it comes from a sudden increase of load placed on the knee. So if you have recently increased your weight at the gym, time on the Stairmaster, or taken on a new activity, if the stress level on your knees has increased you could experience “runner’s knee” even if you do not consider yourself a runner.  With that said, here are a few preventative measures we can implement that could help.


If you are squatting, jumping, or finding difficulty hiking or doing stairs, ensure that you are getting a proper warm up.  In addition to the treatment options listed in Part 3 of our Runner’s Knee series, you can also perform band exercises prior to your activity. Each of these exercises is
beneficial in increasing our mobility and strength, as well as providing our bodies with the proper preparation for the activities we are engaging in. 



An additional preventive measure is to always use proper form. In all things we do, improper form can cause extra strain on our bodies. In all activities, especially lifting and squatting it is important that before we increase weight we ensure that our form is correct. Squatting with our knees in line with our toes, and our back naturally arched allows the weight to be properly distributed throughout, rather than having all the pressure on our knees.


The last preventive measure is simple but effective. It is important that we increase our training gradually and not all at once. If you are a lifter, gradually increase weight. If you are a hiker or climb stairs, increase your distance and pace gradually. Our bodies are adaptable, and with steady increase, it can adjust accordingly.


So for those of us who are experiencing knee pain in the front of our knees and are not runners, there are answers here for us as well. It just so happens that those answers are very similar to those who run many miles a day. So don’t be afraid to dive into our multi-part series about runner’s knee. I think you will be able to find answers to your knee pain as well.

Check out the Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of our Patellofemoral pain syndrome series here.

Janaye Freeman is a Certified Athletic Trainer & Lead Therapy Technician at Revive Sport & Spine in Cottonwood Heights Utah. Revive Sport & Spine provides evidence-supported chiropractic care and conservative sports injury management for the Greater Salt Lake City Utah Valley.