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Knee Inflammation after a Marathon

“I suffered from inflammation in my right knee after running a marathon. What can I do to strengthen my legs and prevent the injury from occurring again?” –  LY, Singapore


Dear LY,

Knee pain is a common ailment amongst long distance runners. In most instances, knee injuries sustained from running stem from chronic overload and muscular imbalances and can result in knee inflammation.

Examples include iliotibial band friction syndrome (ITBFS) and patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). Stretching tight and shortened muscles and strengthening the appropriate weaker, inhibited muscles are key to rehabilitation of the knee and prevention of further injuries.

It is very common to find a weak glutes medius and tight ITB in runners with ITBFS or PFPS. To strengthen the gluteus medius, single leg bridging or single leg raises in quadruped position can be performed. For tight ITB, you can use a foam roller or a tennis ball placed under the ITB and roll up and down along it for 3- 5 minutes to release the ITB.

You may also want to consult a sports physician or physiotherapist for a gait analysis to determine the cause of your knee pain and to correct your running gait so as to prevent recurrence of the injury.

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