Dubai, UAE; Patellofemoral pain syndrome is (otherwise known as anterior knee pain) is often referred to as ‘runner’s knee’ as its common condition experienced by regular runners and endurance athletes.
The patella is also referred to as the kneecap and an injury can occur when there is a muscular imbalance around it. Muscles in the upper thigh pull the patella tendon in different directions and if one side is tighter than the other the patella can be pulled out of it’s optimal position. The injury occurs as a result of this maltracking of the patella in the groove of the thigh bone
Symptoms usually appear gradually and become progressively more intense. The role of the patella is to act as a lever to efficiently straighten our knees when we walk, run, cycle, or kick a ball. In instances where the thigh muscles are very tight, or the core stabilizer muscles are not working efficiently this can cause a subtle change of dynamics of the patella in the thigh groove and elicit a pain response.
Signs and symptoms of Patellofemoral dysfunction
At the onset of the below symptoms, its adviced that you seek an opinion from a Sports Medicine Specialist who will diagnose the condition and recommended the appropriate treatment pathway which may include physiotherapy.
- Gradual onset of knee pain, often without injury
- A dull aching, vague pain around the anterior knee
- Increased pain with when bending the knee eg- squatting & stairs
- Associated with an increase in sporting activity
- Reduced flexibility in the quadriceps and hip flexor muscles
- Poor balance & stability at the glutes, causing decreased mobility at the hips
The role of physiotherapy in rehabilitating runners knee
To correctly assess the injury and provide a tailored program to strengthen the core muscles and to lengthen any tight structures. This can be done via specific exercises and manual therapy to ensure problem areas are corrected and return to full fitness and sport.
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