runnersOur knees can take quite a toll. Imagine simply walking downhill and all of the force on the joint of the knee is basically your weight times three! If you’re experiencing knee discomfort, grinding under the knee cap often referred to as creptius; nagging pain, or unusual sensations near or underneath the knee cap, read this informative article provided by Cas Soma, MD. from North Shore Orthopedics.

Runners, cyclists and others who report the above can benefit from knowing more about the anatomy of the knee compartment; the muscles, bones ligaments and tendons that stabilize and support the knee itself.  Learn more about the symptoms, preventive measures such as staying in shape and keeping nicely stretched out, to fine tuning your equipment and gear.

I recently had a private road bike, fitting specialist in my studio from Boulder, Colorado and Maui local physical therapist, Laura Dunn, PT share their knowledge for a few privileged folks, to fine tune their pedals, seat height and handlebar stems.  Micro adjustments to the height of the seat and to the stem made all the difference for one rider. His knee pain vanished and he was able to ride pain free.

PatellaHere is a simple diagram that illustrates where the Patella lies. As you can see the attachments of the connecting tendons and ligaments also attach to bone like structures protruding from the tibia and fibula.

An excerpt from Cas Soma’s resource: AAOS  : click here to read the entire article provided to his patients


The knee is a complex structure and is very sensitive. A number of factors can contribute to runner’s knee, including:

  • Malalignment of the kneecap
  • Complete or partial dislocation
  • Injury
  • Excessive training or overuse
  • Tightness, imbalance, or weakness of thigh muscles
  • Flat feet

Patellofemoral pain may be the result of irritation of the soft tissues around the front of the knee. Strained tendons are fairly common in athletes. Other contributing factors to patellofemoral pain include overuse, muscle imbalance and inadequate stretching. Pain that begins in another part of the body, such as the back or hip, may cause pain in the knee (referred pain).

In some people with runner’s knee, the kneecap is out of alignment. If so, vigorous activities can cause excessive stress and wear on the cartilage of the kneecap. This can lead to softening and breakdown of the cartilage on the patella (chondromalacia patella) and cause pain in the underlying bone and irritation of the joint lining…

Click here to read the entire article and learn more about prevention, diagnosis, and different treatment options.

If my clients complain about any knee discomfort you can be sure that I’ll refer them to Dr. Soma for an examination and full work up. I want to see my clients enjoy their activities and take care of their bodies. Getting back to play or to the simple things you enjoy to stay healthy and fit are very important.

Thanks Dr. Soma for being a valued resource and partner!   To contact Dr. Soma go to:

Stayed tuned for more information and helpful tips to keep you in play!  You CAN be healthy and fit.

If I can help you achieve your fitness goals, learn a new sport or be part of your health team, call me today at 808-283-2121

Or, go to my website at

Suzie Cooney, CPT  Suzie Trains Maui



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