Jumper’s knee, diffuse knee pain; Patellofemorale pain

What it is:

Jumper’s knee – patellofemorale pain is a common notion for a variety of knee injuries. Other conditions are Chondromalacia patella, patella lateralisation, meniscus pain and overload injuries.


These kind of injuries and the related pain very often appear gradually and increasing. The pain from jumper’s knee  is located around the knee cap. The pain may also appear inside the knee. The knee may be swollen after activity.

Caused by:

  • Overload and insufficient stability around the knee is very often the cause of jumper’s knee.
  • Overpronation may lead to the knee bending inwards.
  • The thigh muscles – quadriceps – normally holds the knee cap in correct position during movement. If the muscles are weak or have “bad” working conditions, they may prevent the knee cap to slide smoothly and correct.
  • Unbalance between the 4 muscles that make up quadriceps, may lead the knee cap “out of track”, and will likely lead to pain.
  • Running in hills, downhill in particular, may worsen the condition, as may also running in tracks leaning towards one side.
  • Overload; exaggerated training in general.

Treatment and recovery:

  • Reduce the running.
  • Put ice on the swollen area.
  • When pain and swelling are reduced, start carefully with stability exercises for the knee. E.g. stand on a balance cushion, make knee bending on one leg.


  • Stretch the front side of the thigh, back side of the thigh and calf.
  • If you are overpronating, buy shoes with movement control and contact a professional to get adapted sole and preventive exercises.
  • Never run with worn out shoes.
  • Vary the terrrain and intensity of training.

See more about running injuries, preventive exercises and videos here:

Author: Hege Erichsen

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