Runners' Knee Pain

September 22, 2011

Physical therapist researcher Tracy Dierks says many times the knee is not the problem;It's the hip.

If the hip is weak, it can misalign the leg while you're running and Dierks says that can make your knee cap and femur rub together and wear away cartilage in the knee especially in female runners.

He says strengthening the hip with exercises can help and he tested the theory on a small group of runners at Indiana University.

Half of the runners did the exercises twice a week for six weeks. Exercises include single leg squats and work with resistance bands.

Lisa Daily who has had knee problems was in the hip-strengthening group.

She says, "I remember running two miles probably and thinking, 'Wow, I didn't have any pain, and um so that was the first indication that maybe the study is actually working."

Dierks says the exercises did prove to be helpful in reducing and eliminating knee pain.

However, he cautions while a weak hip is a common cause for knee pain, it is not always to blame. You may need to see a doctor.
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