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If you’re a runner, you’re accustomed to aches and pains. But some pains shouldn’t be ignored. Knowing the symptoms of runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain syndromeand taking steps to treat it can help you avoid permanently damaging your knees. The symptoms of runner’s knee include: 

runner running with mild runners knee


  • Pain behind or around the kneecap, especially where the thighbone and the kneecap meet
  • Pain when bending the knee
  • Pain that’s worse when walking downstairs or downhill
  • Swelling
  • Popping or grinding sensation in the knee

How to Treat the Symptoms of Runner’s Knee

To relieve some of the discomfort of runner’s knee and to speed recovery, you can take these steps:

  • Rest. Avoid putting weight on the knee.
  • Ice. To reduce swelling and pain, apply an ice pack for 20-30 minutes every three to four hours for several  days or until the pain subsides.
  • Compress. Use an elastic bandage, patellar straps, or sleeves on your knee to provide extra support.
  • Elevate. Prop your knee on a pillow when sitting or lying down.
  • Medicate. Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) to relieve pain and swelling.
  • Stretch and strengthen. Practice exercises that stretch and strengthen the quadriceps muscle group.
  • Support your arches. Wearing orthotics may help to properly position your foot to relieve wear and tear on your knees.

Severe cases of runner’s knee may require surgery to repair damaged cartilage or reposition the kneecap.

Running with Runner’s Knee

If you have a mild case of runner’s knee, you may want to continue running. If you choose to run, you should take these precautions:

  • Cut back on your mileage.
  • Avoid unnecessary knee-bending activities.
  • Avoid downward stairs and slopes.
  • Use smaller strides on hills.

Visit Your Local FastMed Urgent Care for Knee Pain

If you have knee pain, the medical professionals at FastMed Urgent Care can help you rule out more serious issues such as tears in your meniscus, ACL, or MCL. Our walk-in clinics are open seven days a week and have convenient extended weekday hours.

At FastMed, we accept most major insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. Visit our FAQs page to learn more about the many benefits of FastMed Urgent Care, or find a FastMed near you today!

fastmed clinic location


Runner’s Knee:

Runner’s Knee:

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