Exercises Help Female Runners' Knee Pain

BALTIMORE, June 10 (UPI) — U.S. researchers found an exercise regimen effectively reduced or eliminated knee pain common in female runners.

Tracy Dierks of the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis found six weeks of a twice weekly 20- to 45-minute hip strengthening regimen effectively eased the condition known as patellofemoral pain.

The study used a pain scale of 0 to 10, with 3 representing the onset of pain and 7 pain that usually causes a runner to stop. The runners began the six-week exercise period registering pain of 7 and finished at levels of 2 or lower.

“I wasn’t expecting such huge reductions, to be honest,” Dierks said in a statement. “We’ve had a couple of runners who have been at level 2, but the overwhelming majority have been a 2 or below.”

Dierks and colleagues measured hip strength in five runners and a control group of four other runners before and after the six-week study. The exercises, which can all be done at home, included single-leg squats and exercises with a resistance band.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Baltimore.

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