The official name for this painful issue is chondromalacia patella – it’s the wear and tear of the cartilage on the back of the kneecap caused by abnormal motion. Symptoms include swelling, inflammation and pain in the top of the knee, with stiffness after sitting and pain going up and down stairs. Runner’s knee can be caused by weak quads, faulty biomechanics or a dysfunction in the patellar tendon. Icing, ultrasound or laser can help reduce discomfort. A stretching and strengthening program and orthotics might be prescribed, as well as a close examination of your exercise program; the doctor can look at your gait and the surfaces you run to help correct running-related issues.