Runner's Knee

Learn how the Exakt Health App can optimize your recovery.

Runner's Knee treatment plan

We know having runner’s knee can be really frustrating. Especially if you can’t access quality treatment advice immediately. Yes, you can find exercises on Google but how many repetitions should you do and are they even the right ones for you? When can you play sport again?

The Exakt Health app provides answers to all of these questions.

The Exakt Health App:

  • Guides you safely from initial injury to full return to sport.
  • Prescribes evidence based exercise programs with clear guidance on reps, sets and frequency.
  • Adapts the program according to your feedback and specific needs.
  • Implements a walk/run program for a safe return to running.
  • Provides you with a maintenance program to prevent re-injury.
The runner's knee treatment plan in the Exakt Health app provides you with daily workouts and injury advice to speed up your recovery.
In the injury overview screen you'll find useful information about Runner's Knee, including what causes it, how to diagnose it, when to see a doctor and what treatments work best.

The App teaches you about your injury

Understanding what caused your runner’s knee, how it heals and when to see a doctor helps you better plan your recovery and prevent re-injury

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, also known as Runner’s Knee, causes pain over the front of your knee and around your kneecap. The space between your kneecap and the two bones underneath it is known as the patellofemoral joint. It is when this joint becomes painful and sore that you develop the typical pain over the front of your knee.

The most common symptoms associated with patellofemoral pain syndrome include:
  • Non-specific or difficult to locate pain over the front of the knee. You can feel the pain more to the side or below the kneecap.
  • Walking down is often more painful than walking up.
  • Deep squats or kneeling may hurt.
  • Swelling around the kneecap but not always present.
  • Your knee may give the occasional click or clunk as you move it from flexion to extension.
  • You may notice a grinding sensation under the kneecap.
  • Sitting with your knee in a flexed position for a prolonged period can make it hurt.
You should consider seeing a medical practitioner if you have any concerns about your injury, particularly if:
  • your knee is very painful, swollen, red and hot to touch. This can indicate an inflammatory condition, which is not covered by the App.
  • pain at night that keeps you awake or interrupts your sleep.
  • you feel pins and needles or tingling in your leg. This can indicate a nerve injury which might require different treatment
  • your symptoms are getting worse.
  • your injury is not healing as expected.
The main cause for the patellofemoral joint to become painful is overload. Overload can be caused by:
  • Fast increase in (high impact) activities such as downhill running, squats, jumping or just long distances
  • Weakness in core and hips muscles can cause your knee to turn in more when you run, which can cause strain on the patellofemoral joint.
  • If your foot rolls in too much (over-pronates), either through weakness around your ankle or wearing unsupportive shoes. It causes your knee to turn in excessively, causing increased strain.
  • Weak quadriceps (front thigh) muscles


The exercise-based treatment for patellofemoral pain consist of 3 main stages:
  • First, reduce the pain and allow the joint to settle by reducing aggravating activities and icing.
  • Then, slowly strengthen all the muscles in your core and legs while training good movement patterns.
  • Finally, ease back into running while focussing on good running form.
Our treatment plan is designed to guide you through this process. Because we all heal at different rates, it is important to progress through the exercise levels and stages at your own pace.
Approximate recovery time is 6-12 weeks. But it may take longer if:
  • you’ve heavily overloaded the joint with an extreme sporting activity or
  • you’ve neglected it for a while and tried to train trough it.


  • Regular strength training including your core, hip and quad muscles.
  • Regular balance and proprioception training.
  • Avoid increasing your running intensity or volume too quickly.

The Runner's Knee treatment plan consists of 6 stages

In order to regain full strength the workout intensities have to increase as your injury heals. The app ensures that you progress at the correct time by setting you clear targets for each stage.

Allow your knee pain to calm down while you start building your strength and control in your legs and core. Avoid sitting with your knee bent, kneeling, running, or hopping. You can progress to the next stage when you can do the knee workouts without pain.

Develop optimal movement patterns and strengthen your quads in positions that don’t cause large compression forces in the kneecap. Avoid deep squatting, kneeling, running and jumping activities. You can progress to the next stage when you can walk for 30 minutes and complete the strength test without pain.

Get your kneecap used to compression forces in high load positions while continuing to improve the strength and control in your core and legs. Avoid walking/running down hills and jumping activities. You can progress to the next stage when you can walk at a brisk pace for 30 minutes and pass the knee strength test without pain.

During this stage you will develop the dynamic control in your legs to ensure good movements patterns while running. Be careful when walking or running down hills and it’s best to still avoid jumping activities and deep kneeling. You can progress to the next stage once you can jog pain free for 20 minutes and pass the control test.

The focus is now on regaining your previous running endurance. The strength workouts will maintain the strength that you’ve built in the previous stages. Avoid high intensity running e.g. tempo, sprint or hill sessions. You can progress to the next stage when you’re able to run your normal weekly running volume at your regular easy running pace pain free.

You can now start to introduce more high intensity training sessions that include down hill running. You have successfully completed your rehab programme once you are back to running your normal running volumes, including high intensity sessions, at your normal speed. Remember to allow enough recovery time after harder sessions and only increase your running volume by 10% per week.

The runner's knee treatment plan has 7 stages and the workouts increase in intensity as you grow stronger..
The Exakt Health app is a sports injury app that provides exercise based treatment plans for the most common running injuries.

Recover faster. Now.

Download the App now and start the recovery with your tailored treatment plan. Adjusted to your specific needs.

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