Learn more about knee pain and how to get pain free.
Knee pain is often caused by Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. (PFPS) is used to describe painful irritation of the cartilage behind your kneecap. Although virtually anyone may be affected, it is often the result of overuse of the knee in sports that require jumping or running so it is sometimes referred to as "Runner's knee". PFPS is the most common cause of knee pain in the general population, and impacts almost a quarter of all adults.
Perhaps the most common cause of PFPS is when the individual has an imbalance between the muscles that help to guide your kneecap in its V-shaped groove at the end of your thigh bone. If you repeatedly flex and extend your kneecap when it is misaligned it will often lead to pain, swelling and eventually arthritis. Misalignment of the kneecap (patella) is in many cases a secondary problem in the hip and foot, especially weakness of your gluteal muscles or flat feet.
PFPS creates a throbbing and dull pain behind the kneecap that is aggravated by prolonged walking, running, squatting, jumping, stair climbing or arising from a seated position. The pain typically is worsened when walking downhill or down stairs. Longstanding misalignment can cause damage to the cartilage, which results in popping, grinding or giving way.
Conservative care, like the type provided in this office, have been proven to be safe and successful when it comes to relieving your symptoms. In the early going it is typically best for you to minimize activities that provoke your pain, especially running, jumping and activities that stress you into a "knock-kneed" position. You should do your best not to allow your knees to cross in front of your toes when squatting. If you are an athlete you may need to modify your activity to include swimming or bicycling instead of running.
Performing your home exercises on a regular basis is one of the most important things that you can do to help realign the patella, relieve pain and prevent recurrence. The use of home ice or ice massage applied around your kneecap for 10-15 minutes, several times per day may be helpful.