Knee pain is a very common complaint that can affect people of all ages and fitness levels. Knee pain can be the result of an acute injury such as a fracture, ligament or meniscus tear. It can also be related to chronic conditions like arthritis, gout, tendinopathies or from patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is one of the most common knee injuries and is estimated to affect the vast majority of the population at some point in their life, but is particularly prevalent in the adolescent female population. This condition is often called “runner’s knee” or “jumper’s knee” because it is very common in the athletic community but even non-athletes are likely to experience this condition at some point.
Risk factors for getting Patellofemoral pain syndrome include excessive weight, muscular imbalances, rapid changes in activity levels and simply overuse from sports such as running or occupations that require repetitive squatting, hill or stair climbing.
PFPS is caused from mal-tracking of the patella (knee cap) within the femoral condyles (end of the thigh bone). This can come from the following lower limb soft tissue changes.
- Tight Iliotibial Band (ITB)
- Tightness in the Hamstrings, Hip Flexors and Calf muscles
- Weakness in the Gluteus muscles. Particularly Gluteus Medius
- Weakness in the medial Quadriceps (VMO)
- Excessive pronation of the feet
Knee pain is managed very well with conservative management techniques. Although some more severe conditions may require further interventions such as injections or surgery. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is thankfully a condition that rarely requires invasive treatments.
At Robina Physio on the Gold Coast we can accurately assess your knee in the clinic to determine what is causing your knee pain. For PFPS we will use our subjective assessment to look for things like an insidious onset, overload events and certain aggravating activities like squatting, climbing stairs/hills and pain with sustained sitting. During our objective examination will would assess the entire structure of your knee joint including, range of motion, strength, ligament and tendon integrity, functional status (inc running) and patella tracking.
Physiotherapy treatments for knee pain are very effective and include soft tissue release of tight muscles, dry needling, taping, orthotics and strengthening exercises for the gluts, quadriceps and hamstrings.
Below you will find 3 exercises that I commonly use when treating patellofemoral pain syndrome with great success. If your suffering with this condition I would recommend your give these a try.
- Cycling: This is simple yet probably the best bang for your buck exercise for managing knee pain. Start within your limits and build steadily. Aim for 20-30 mins most days.
- Wall Sit: This exercise is very effective at strengthening your quadricep muscles. Don’t go too deep when you start. If you get pain then simply go a little higher. Try getting to 3 x 1 min holds. (Pic from Telehab)
- Side Kick (Hip Abduction): This can be done in standing with or without a resistance band. Make sure your contracting your glute (bum) muscles properly and not using your hip flexors. Try 3 x 20 slow repetitions. (Pic from Telehab)
At Robina Physio on the Gold Coast we offer expert assessment, treatment and guidance for knee injuries. Don’t hesitate to contact us on (07) 5578 7233 or BOOK NOW and we will help get you moving normal again.