Runners Knee - Physio in the Park Tips


As much as it pains us to say it, the world doesn’t revolve around socks. We care about athletes performance and want you to get the best out of yourself. This means not only do we want to prevent blisters, but we want to help you prevent all sorts of injuries.

To achieve this, SockMine have collaborated with Madelaine Smith, Aka “Physio In The Park”, to help remedy some of the most common injuries in sport.

Madelaine has specialised in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy for over a decade now, working in the NHS and for a number of different sectors and companies. Coming from a sprinting back ground, Madelaine now trains and competes in triathlons across the country. In addition, Madeline is also the leading physiotherapist to the Bryan Steel Cycling Academy. It is fair to say, Madelaine knows what she is talking about!

To learn how to help rehabilitate your knee injury, read on or watch the video below featuring Madelaine.



Patella Femoral joint allows the movement of the knee cap on the thigh bone and is one of the strongest points in the body.  It can tolerate large amounts of forces provided that it is challenged regularly through exercise however can become painful and rarely improves with rest.


Patellofemoral Pain, more commonly known as Runner’s Knee, was historically perceived as an overloading problem but pain is now considered to be as a result of an area not coping. Clearly then the aim is to get the area resilient, confidently accepting load in a variety of situations once again, therefore addressing the cause not just the symptoms.


Pain in the Patella Femoral joint can be treated in a number of ways. By doing anything and everything, but mainly by being confident that the area is not going to come to harm and to progressively challenge it regularly. Ensure that the exercise is at a level that is acceptable but also strainful, still allowing high quality, normal movement.


Here are a few exercises that can help to strengthen the Patella Femoral joint. Make sure you fully warm up before attempting any of these exercises and know your limits! As long as you are challenging yourself at an acceptable level, don’t be concerned if you can only perform a few to begin with.



This is a great little exercise which improves co-ordination, balance and can help prevent Runner’s Knee. To do this, you will need some form of weight i.e. a dumbbell or kettlebell. When first attempting this exercise, start with a light weight to get used to the movement. Progression of this exercise is to gradually increase the weight, challenging the muscle to improve its capabilities.


Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, begin by holding the weight in your left hand and lifting your right foot off the floor behind you. Slowly bend your left leg, getting you knee as close to right angle as possible, before extending the leg once again. Perform 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps on each leg to complete the exercise.



You can either place 4 pieces of tape on the ground or just imagine them there and aim to hop on to each of them, without stopping. Try and vary the directions, eg, forward then right then left then backwards then right then forwards then right again then left then backwards, the more variation the better, you could even get a training partner or family member to shout out the directions they want you to move, this really helps with the reaction and loading of the tendon.



Rotational Jump Squats are a fantastic Plyometric exercise, often used by elite sport athletes to increase mobility and power. In addition to this, the movement is also great for building strength in the knee joint, training it to cope with high impact movements.


Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Sit back and down into the squat position, keeping your knees behind your toes and immediately jump vertically in the air. Whilst in the air, keep your chest up and rotate 180 degrees to face the opposite direction. Land in the squat position as softly as possible, controlling the impact and reducing stress on the joints.



To perform this exercise, you will need either a kettle bell or dumbbell. Keep the weight light to begin with and increase the weight as you become more confident with the exercise.


To begin with, have your feet shoulder width apart with the weight on the floor about a quarter of a metre in front of you. With your right foot off the floor, bend from the hip towards the weight keeping your standing leg as straight as possible. Pick the weight up with the arm alternating to your standing leg and return to a standing position. Once here, press the weight above your head and back down again to work the shoulders. This completes one rep.


Perform this exercise for 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps on each leg, gradually increasing the difficulty as you become more proficient at it. You can do this by holding weights in either arm, using a medicine ball or simply increase the number reps you perform in a set.



The kettlebell swing is the mother of all fat burning exercises. Not only is it a great exercise for toning up, but it is brilliant for helping to strengthen joints. Kettlebell swings are a must if you are looking to prevent or rehabilitate runner’s knee.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out, and knees slightly bent; look straight ahead. Hold your kettlebell between your legs using a two-handed, overhand grip. Keeping the arch in your lower back, bend your hips back until the kettlebell is between and behind your legs; squeeze your glutes to extend your hips and swing the weight up. Let the weight swing back between your legs as you bend your hips and slightly bend your knee. Then extend your hips and knees to reverse the momentum as you immediately begin the next rep.



This exercise is best performed with a medicine ball. As always, start off light with a view to increasing the weight as become more confident with the movement.


Start with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms holding the medicine ball out in front of you. Step one foot out into a lunge position, bending both knees, and rotate your arms and torso over your lead leg. Rotate back to neutral and stand up. Step forward into a lunge with the opposite leg while rotating your arms and torso over that lead leg. Repeat. Try to step through each lunge without pausing at the standing position.


Perform this exercise for 3 sets of 8 – 10 reps on each leg, gradually increasing the difficulty as you become more proficient at it. You can do this by holding weights in either arm, using a medicine ball or simply increase the number reps you perform in a set.



If you’re in the Nottinghamshire area and want a detailed assessment and diagnosis of your injury, you can email Madelaine at [email protected] or call on 01623 709710.

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