Although there are various potential causes of knee pain, the most common we see at PHYSIO4ALL is patellofemoral pain syndrome (sometimes referred to as ‘runner’s knee’).
If you are experiencing patellofemoral pain syndrome you may be feeling pain anywhere in the front of your knee, around your knee cap and may be on one or both legs. Stairs are often problematic with pain usually worse going down stairs, walking downhill may be painful as with running, prolonged sitting, squatting or kneeling.
As your bends the underside of the kneecap (patella) slides up and down in a groove at the end of the thigh bone. If the patella is not aligned correctly there may be irritation which results in inflammation and pain and may eventually result in early degenerative change at the joint if provocative activities are not ceased.
The biomechanics of joints above and below the knee play a major role in patellofemoral disorders. Particularly, poor hip and pelvis control, due to poor gluteal muscle function can place stress on structures about the knee. Forces below to the knee which may include poor foot and ankle function and alignment may also contribute to patellofemoral pain.
At PHYSIO4ALL we stress to patients that they should avoid aggravating movements which is key to recovery from this condition. The use of tape or a brace may help elevate your pain. Soft tissue massage and knee joint mobilisation will assist in release of tight structures and your physiotherapist will give you stretches that target specific muscles and tissues. Most importantly your physiotherapist will give you specific hip-pelvic strengthening exercises and should assist you with progressing these exercises as symptoms improve. Orthotics may also be necessary if your foot and ankle biomechanics are contributing to your pain. An easy and effective exercise for Patellafemoral Pain can be viewed at the following link: https://www.physio4all.com.au/patellafemoral-joint-exercise/
Another exercise to reduce Patellafemoral Pain can be viewed at the following link:
Our next blog will be about Patella Tendinopathy.