Anterior knee pain and its extrinsic risk factors among runners in under-resourced communities in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa




Background: Various factors predispose athletes with Anterior Knee Pain (AKP) making a holistic assessment & rehabilitation inevitable. Due to minimal rehabilitation services in under-resourced communities, runners are likely to report poorer health outcomes compared to other communities. Objective: The purpose was to report on the prevalence and determine extrinsic risk factors for AKP among runners in under-resourced communities. Materials & Methods: This was a cross-sectional study which included a population of 347 runners. Convenience sampling was used to recruit 183 participants aged between 13 and 55 with no history of knee surgery, traumatic or degenerative knee conditions. Questionnaires were used to collect data on AKP prevalence, and extrinsic risk factors. The SPSS (version 25) was used to analyse the data. Data were presented as frequencies and percentages and the results from chi-square and logistic regression tests. Results: Forty percent (40%) of participants presented with AKP, particularly males (n=106, 58%), youth (n=94, 51%) and participants with 3–5 years of running experience (n=57, 31%). Anterior knee pain was associated with age (X2=6.484, p=0.039) and running experience (X2=8.39, p=0.04). The following extrinsic risk factors contributed to AKP significantly: training load (p=0.04, Odds ratio [OR]=1.23); warm-up (p=0.04, OR=1.23); shoe condition (p=0.04, OR=0.14) and running surface (p=0.05, OR=1.2).  Discussion & conclusions: A substantial presence of AKP and its extrinsic risk factors were found among participants. These outcomes suggest that extrinsic risk factors should also be considered when managing AKP among runners.

Keywords: Patellofemoral pain, external risk factors, athletes, poor resourced communities.


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Author Biography

S Kunene

Siyabonga Kunene is a lecturer and an emerging researcher in the field of musculoskeletal physiotherapy (sports) in the Physiotherapy department at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He has completed his Masters degree in sports physiotherapy in 2014 and currently doing his PhD. His area of interest and expertise is in sports physiotherapy.




How to Cite

Kunene, S., Ramklass, S., & Taukobong, N. (2019). Anterior knee pain and its extrinsic risk factors among runners in under-resourced communities in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa. South African Journal of Sports Medicine, 31(1), 1–6.