Pain at the front of the knee is often caused by your Patellofemoral Joint, which is the joint between your knee cap and the end of your thigh bone at the knee. This pain is referred to as Patellofemoral Pain and is caused by stress in the tissues in and around the joint. This tissue stress can be caused by factors such as your knee alignment, strength, or triggers that change the load at the knee, such as an increase in training level or even trauma and illness.
Activities which may increase Patellofemoral knee pain include:
- Stepping up or down off a step, particularly a large step
- A deep squats or lunges
- An activity which causes an increase in load when your knee is bent
Studies show that people with Patellofemoral Pain tend to move differently at the hip, knee and ankle when they squat, land from a jump and run. A Physiotherapist can assess for these changes and provide you with a suitable rehabilitation program.
Treatment for patellofemoral pain may include:
- Reducing your activity levels so that you are not overloading your knee – It is important to keep as active as you can, without causing more stress to your knee
- Taping or bracing to help reduce the load going through your knee and minimise pain
- Hands on techniques to help better align your knee cap (tight tissues on the outside of the knee may be pulling it more off to that side)
- A tailored strengthening program, which focuses on the quadriceps and gluteal muscles. Visual and verbal feedback is crucial when performing these exercises, so ask your Physiotherapist what cues you should use, such as feedback from a full length mirror.
If you have pain in your knee, it is likely that you would benefit from being assessed by one of our Physiotherapists. Call us on 8555 4099 or click here to book online.
Luci Minogue (Physiotherapist)