I've just recently started hitting the student rec center here at WVU, and I thought that I couldn't go wrong having bought Vibrams (and worn them for at least a couple of months before running) and learned the basics of pose running and all that, and reading just about every day something new on the subject of proper form. That of course was until my knees started making a really attractive crunching sound through pretty much the full range of motion. The very first time that I noticed this I stopped running immediately and started scouring the internet in more or less every moment of my free time. I believe that my problem is that my inner thigh muscles(vastus medialis) are weaker than my outer ones, and it's causing my knee caps to get off track.(patellorofemoral syndrome?) I could really use help in this situation, because I've had but a small taste of this powerful thing called running, and I just can't do without it. Please, if anyone has any suggestions on exercises, stretches, dietary supplements, dietary changes, what have you, feel free to share, but keep in mind that I'm a college student who is only just starting a job (ie. no money), and have basically no access to non-emergency medical care (ie. no medical specialist visits without seriously injuring myself).

Thanks in Advance,


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Hi Austin,

When you "scoured the internet" did you find anything that mentioned the I.T. band?  I reccomend that you do. Good Luck!


Yeah, I checked that out, but I didn't think that that was the problem, because I didn't have any noticeable swelling or even pain until way after my knees started crunching really badly.

I would focus on strength exercises for your feet and legs. You are thinking correctly with regard to strengthening supporting muscles, but you want to focus on the whole chain so you don't create imbalances by focusing only on one muscle group. Go to born2run.com. Click on strength training. I would suggest purchasing the level 1 training system. The cost is cheaper than any supplements, physical therapy, doctor visit, etc. I have been running/training now for 2 years and this strength system has helped eliminate many of my aches and pains. I now do this strength program 2-3 times per week as maintenance. I can speak from a medical background as well and I have seen many different ways of treating sport injuries and have sent many a patient to the orthopedist and physical therapy. These are the best exercises for the runner and they work. I would start here, keep your running light and easy as you build strength.

Thanks, I will definitely look into that. As it stands right now, I feel like I already have a bunch of muscle imbalances, and not all of them from running. Hopefully that will help, but I'm concerned that if I start doing exercises that don't strengthen that inner muscle first, then exercises to try and balance out my strength would result in the other muscles getting stronger at the same time, and just making everything stronger but still unbalanced.


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