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Beginning Runner and Knee Pain

By Carolyn Robbins

Patellofemoral pain or runner's knee is a nondescript ache beneath or around the kneecap frequently experienced by athletes. New runners may develop patellofemoral pain due to inexperience, poor form or inadequate equipment. Talk to your doctor about your knee pain before you attempt further training. Although the pain is most likely benign, it may be a symptom of an underlying medical problem.

Common Causes

Common causes of sport's related patellofemoral pain include overuse, strained tendons, muscle imbalance and failure to stretch properly. Knee pain may also be the result of flat feet, misalignment of the patella, knee cap dislocation and weak or tight muscles.

Don't Cut Corners

You may be tempted to pinch pennies, but proper gear is essential for injury-free running. Invest in fitted shoes with arch supports and good shock absorbers. Begin your run with a five-minute warm-up followed by stretching exercises. Use proper running form and stick with a smooth, even terrain. Don't push yourself too hard. Increase the speed, intensity and duration of your runs very slowly.

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