Patellofemoral pain syndrome, better known as “Runner’s Knee,” is a catchall for soreness that strikes around the kneecap. Irritation of the tendons, cartilage, fat pad beneath the patella, or other tissues could be the culprit thanks to any number of maladies like overuse, muscle imbalance, foot problems, a misaligned kneecap, or something else.
Avoid it: Strengthen your quadriceps and glutes, says Mike Silverman, a physical therapist at Hospital for Special Surgery’s Sports Rehabilitation and Performance Center in New York City. This will help move the load from your knees to your legs. Use a foam roller to keep your IT band loose and mobile, and keep your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves limber with dynamic stretches.
Relieve it: “If you do develop runner’s knee, foam rolling is a great way to reduce symptoms,” Silverman says. In addition, ice your knee and use elastic therapeutic tape, like Kinesio or KT Tape, to stabilize your patella as a three-pronged approach.