Recent research has suggested that the condition known as ‘runner’s knee’ may be caused by weak muscles.

Study co-author Darin Padua, associate professor of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina, said the results of the study indicated that individuals who develop the condition tend to have weaker quadriceps and hamstrings; ‘As a result, they don’t bend their knees as much when doing tasks, such as running or jumping. That means the contact area between the kneecap and the femur is smaller, so pressure is focused and pinpointed on a smaller area’.

This results in patellofemoral pain syndrome, also often called ‘runner’s knee’, which affects approximately 25 per cent of physically active people. Runner’s knee can lead to osteoarthritis.

The study involved 1,600 US Naval midshipmen. Forty of these study subjects (24 women and 16 men) developed runner’s knee over a period of several years. The researchers noted that those with weaker hamstring and quadriceps muscles, flattening of the arches in the foot (navicular drop) and less flexible knees had much higher likelihood of developing the condition.

Source: American Journal of Sports Medicine