Ah! My Aching Knee Cap!

Female athlete suffer from pain in her knee.

Female athlete suffering from pain in her knee.

What is it? What does it feel like? What causes it? How can it be treated?

What is it? Pain around the patella (knee cap) is a very common complaint seen in all sports particularly jumping sports, as well as running. The patella articulates with the femur in a groove covered with cartilage. When the patella is not moving within the grooves correctly pain and inflammation will result.

What does it feel like? Pain at the knee can be felt behind the patella as well as either side of its articulations. High load such as jumping and running, as well as squatting, can bring on the pain. In more severe cases, the pain can linger while you are resting.

What causes it? 
For the patella to be out of its groove, the cause can be found locally at the knee, as well as above the knee at the hip and below at the foot. If the foot is pronating excessively, this will cause the tibia to internally rotate and mal-track the patella. At the hip level, weakness of the gluteal muscles (bum muscles) as well as other muscles surrounding the hip, may allow your hips to drop and knee to rotate internally, as well as create a valgus knee (knock knee appearance).

How can it be treated? Identifying the cause of the pain is crucial. Often the cause is combination of both the foot and the hips not functioning in their most efficient way. Reducing rotation of the tibia can be achieved through correctly fitted footwear and/or orthotics to place the foot in its best posture. Correcting muscle imbalance at the knee and hip is essential, as well as maintaining good core stability. With the assistance of a physio this can be achieved. Your run technique may need some altering to reduce the load on the knee, as well as to get you recruiting the right muscles needed to keep your hips stable.

If this sounds like you, the Physio’s and Podiatrist at Inform Physio + Fitness can help. Call today on 95431888 to make an appointment.