Anterior knee pain (Kneecap pain) – Is it stopping you?

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Patellofemoral joint (Kneecap) pain, also known as anterior knee pain, is a common condition among people, particularly those involved in activities that require repetitive knee movements and high impact, such as running, jumping, stairs, kneeling and change of direction sports. It is characterized by pain around or behind the patella (kneecap) and is often exacerbated by activities like squatting, stair climbing, and prolonged sitting.

The causes of patellofemoral joint pain are multifactorial. They can include muscle imbalances, such as weak hip abductors / adductors and quadriceps, tightness in the iliotibial band or hamstrings, biomechanical factors like excessive foot pronation or valgus knee alignment (Knock Knee), and overuse or sudden increase in training load.

The management of patellofemoral joint pain typically involves a combination of conservative treatment approaches. These may include:

  1. Rest and activity modification: Temporary reduction or modification of activities that aggravate the condition is important to allow for healing and pain reduction.
  2. Strengthening exercises: Specific exercises targeting the quadriceps, hip abductors, hip adductors, core stability and gluteal muscles can help improve biomechanics and reduce patellar Mal tracking.
  3. Flexibility and mobility exercises: Stretching exercises for the quadriceps, hamstrings, and iliotibial band can help address muscle imbalances and tightness that contribute to knee pain.
  4. Taping or bracing: Patellar taping or the use of a patellar brace can provide support and help alleviate pain during activities.
  5. Gradual return to sport: A gradual and progressive return to sport or activity should be planned, ensuring that the athlete has regained strength, mobility, and functional stability.
  6. Addressing biomechanical factors: Correcting any underlying biomechanical factors, such as foot pronation or valgus knee alignment, may require orthotics or footwear modifications.
  7. Physical therapy modalities: Modalities like massage, stretching, mobilisation can be used to manage pain and inflammation.

Individualised treatment plans can help address the underlying causes and facilitate a successful return to sports participation. If you are experiencing knee pain, please book in with one of our therapists to create a recovery plan.

TPC Team

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