Patellofemoral pain is a term used to describe pain around the knee cap, i.e. at the front of the knee. There can be clicking at the front of the knee and a sensation of giving away or locking.
It is a common knee injury, especially in growing adolescents, runners, cyclists and hill-walkers. It also commonly affects people who are new to exercise, especially when they are rapidly increasing their activity levels.
The patella is also known as the knee cap. It lies in a groove at the front of the knee. It slides up and down in this groove as the knee bends and straightens. When there is extra pressure on the knee, for example when we increase our training volumes, increase our speed or go up or down lots of stairs or hills, this puts more pressure the kneecap and surrounding structures and can result in pain. There are a number of causes and therefore a number of treatment options, all backed up by research showing good effect:
- Adapt your training load, be it walking, running or jumping, to a level where your symptoms are manageable (max 2-3/10 on a pain scale), and then very gradually build back up again.
- Specific exercises to improve hip and knee strength (chosen based on your weaknesses and so tthey don’t aggravate your knee pain) are proven to help.
- Orthotics to support the arches of the foot can also alleviate pain. Most people will do fine with a basic enough soft orthotic. We stock them in the clinic.
- Treating the pain with things like taping the knee, and massage, dry needling, or foam rolling of the thigh muscles can help in the short term, to get you back into your activity, and then allow you to build from there.
If you want to get a plan in place for your knee pain, you can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0404-49781, or book online at www.eastcoastphysio.ie/booking