Facebook Live May 10 2019
Patellofemoral pain, also known as ‘runner’s knee,’ is a common condition affecting a variety of sportspeople. It occurs when the patella (kneecap) is pulled laterally out of its regular position where it sits in a groove on the femur (thighbone), and as a result it will rub along the femur, creating pain and irritation. Although the exact cause of runner’s knee is still not entirely known, practitioners have identified multiple potential factors, including muscle weakness, training error, poor movement control, and reduced flexibility. The main symptoms of runner’s knee include pain along the front of knee and just below the patella, pain during high patellofemoral load activities such as running, squatting and climbing up and down stairs, and can also be aggravated by long periods of sitting with the knee placed in sustained knee flexion. It is also common for the patient to notice clicking or grinding sensations in the knee known as ‘crepitus.’ Although challenging and can be easily aggravated, the good news is that this condition is treatable with the right management. To initially reduce symptoms an individual will need to temporarily reduce their training load to more manageable levels until the pain settles. Anti-inflammatories, icing and tape also are effective in treating acute pain. For longer term management, strengthening the hip, gluteal and quadriceps muscles is very important as they all contribute to maintaining healthy knee alignment during movement. Managing muscle tightness through regular stretching, foam rolling and mobility exercises is also important, as tight muscle can also cause the knee to move laterally out of position.