One of the most common complaints we see is knee pain. Often people come in with no injury; their pain has just come on gradually for no obvious reason. A lot of different issues can cause knee pain, but one of the most common is patella-femoral pain syndrome.
Patello-femoral pain is a result of the patella or knee cap not tracking correctly. When your biomechanics are correct, the patella glides smoothly within a groove. There are a number of different things which can cause the patella to not glide correctly. The most common causes are:
- Weakness in your gluteal (buttock) muscles, specifically your glut med, which is responsible for correct knee alignment
- Tightness in your lateral quadriceps (thigh) muscles, which ultimately pulls the patella (knee cap) off centre – referring pain from the joint and
- Midfoot collapse which causes the knee to deviate towards the midline causing repetitive strain on the knee joint and structures
To check your gluteal strength, control and endurance you can do a single leg glut bridge – Have a try of this now. Hold this position and check the alignment of your hips – if one side is dropping down you know straight away that you have weakness in this area. We can check your gluteal strength and give you the ideal exercises to strengthen your muscles that support your knee.
Another great way to challenge your strength and help build good neuromuscular control is through clinical pilates where we work on not only your core and lumbo-pelvic control, but also your ensure lower limb strength and endurance.
To manage lateral quadriceps tightness you can use a foam roller. You’ll know if you need to foam roll these muscles because you will feel tenderness and through the muscle while you roll along. If you’re not sure how to use a roller, give us a call on 0889194727 and speak to any of our team. Aim to spend 5-10minutes per side each day, and longer on any specific tender spots (known as trigger points). If you don’t feel any tightness, tenderness or trigger points then this probably isn’t an influential factor in your knee pain.
The final possible factor influencing your knee pain could be your feet. A simple way for us to assess if this is the case is to ask for a Gaitscan of your feet to instantly view your biomechanical alignment and see if your feet are correctly supporting the position of your legs.
If you continue to have problems give us a call to book in for a full biomechanical assessment so we can help you solve the problem and get you running, squatting and moving free of pain again!