Pain that runners experience in and around the knee is often termed, Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PPS), or “Runner’s Knee.”
While there are many possible reasons for PPS, a recent study by Luz et al. found a strong correlation between excessive rearfoot eversion and PPS.
More specifically, substantial rearfoot eversion was correlated with both femur and tibial adduction and tibial internal rotation. Therefore, increased control of the rearfoot to reduce eversion could help to reduce PPS.
Control of the rearfoot is most often accomplished by running in a stability-type shoe. However, as the foot/ankle complex functions as a whole (as does the rest of the body), a modification in one area will likely affect another area (positively or negatively). Therefore it is advised to seek out a specialist such as a physical therapist prior to making any shoe modification or new shoe purchase. Additionally, a specialist will be able to evaluate the whole body to determine if the the pain is PPS and if so, what the likely origin of the pain is. Regardless of whether or not a shoe shim or new shoe is introduced to reduce rearfoot eversion, a specialist will likely prescribe a strength and/or flexibility program to enhance a runner’s performance by decreasing their pain and movement dysfunction.