Patellar tendinitis or PF syndrome
The deal: According to Steve Berkey, “Patellar tendinosis is a pain that occurs under the kneecap from the knee not tracking correctly.” Because there are so many causes, it’s important to have a professional assess your lower body. Hill says the primary “big rocks” to assess are (1) foot position (flat or high arch) (2) knee strength on a single leg (using the simple single-leg squat test for range) and (3) hip mobility, primarily the hip flexor. “If any of the three or a combo are not biomechanically efficient, the risk for knee pain rises,” Hill says.
First aid: Ice with a bag that conforms to the knee, Berkey says—like a bag of frozen peas. Do 15 to 20 minutes of icing per treatment. Stretching, massage and, in some cases, orthotics can solve the problem.
Prevention: Berkey says that patellar tendinitis is usually related to weak hip muscles and poor running technique. Exercises to strengthen and mobilize the hips should be paired with a focus on improving your running technique. “These are the things you can work on with a PT so you can steer clear of the surgical options that can come up with knee pain,” Berkey says.