Understanding Knee Pain
Knee pain is often formed from Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. (PFPS) describes a painful damaging and irritation of the cartilage that is found behind your kneecap. Although anyone can be impacted, it is most 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 is known to affect an estimated 25% of adults.
One of the more common causes of PFPS is when there is an imbalance that is found between the muscles that help to guide your kneecap in its V-shaped groove at the end of your thigh bone. Repeatedly flexing and extending a misaligned kneecap leads to discomfort and pain for the individual, swelling and eventually arthritis. Misalignment of the kneecap (patella) is often secondary to pain and problems that are found in the hip and foot, especially weakness of your gluteal muscles or flat feet.
PFPS is also known to produce a dull pain behind the kneecap that is aggravated and made worse by prolonged walking, running, squatting, jumping, stair climbing or arising from a seated position. The pain is often at it's most intense when walking downhill or down stairs. Longstanding misalignment can cause damage to the cartilage, which results in popping, grinding or giving way.
Conservative care for knee pain, like the type that is offered in this office, is often successful at relieving your worst symptoms. Initially, it is important for you to reduce activities that provoke and worsen your pain, especially running, jumping and activities that stress you into a "knock-kneed" position. Don't allow your knees to extend in front of your toes when squatting. Some athletes may need to alter the ways in which they work out and to modify their regiment to include swimming or bicycling instead of running.
Performing your at 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 in some cases reduce some of the symptoms.