What You Need To Know About Knee Pain
Although 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".
The reason why you need to know this is because PFPS is the most common cause of knee pain in the general population. It affects an estimated 25% of adults.
One of the most common causes of PFPS is an imbalance 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 pain, swelling and eventually arthritis.
Misalignment of the kneecap (patella) is often secondary to problems in the hip and foot, especially weakness of your gluteal muscles or flat feet.
- Prolonged walking
- Stair climbing
- Arising from a seated position.
The pain can be aggrevated by walking downhill or down stairs. Longstanding misalignment can cause damage to the cartilage, which results in popping, grinding or giving way.
Initially, it is important for you to minimize activities that provoke your pain - especially running, jumping and activities that stress you into a "knock-kneed" position. Don't allow your knees to cross in front of your toes when squatting.
Some athletes may need to modify their activity to include swimming or bicycling instead of running.
Performing your home exercises consistently is one of the most important things that you can do to help realign the patella, relieve pain and prevent a recurrence. The use of home ice or ice massage applied around your kneecap for 10-15 minutes, several times per day may be helpful.
If you have difficulty walking or running comfortably, our knee pain specialists in Evanston, IL, will perform a movement evaluation, a joint and muscle exam, and a detailed gait analysis.
We study the way you walk and move your foot, ankle, and hip joints to identify why walking and running may be challenging for you.
Your plan will include mobility movements and key strength exercises based on your unique presentation.
In some cases, we may point you to our custom foot orthotics in Evanston, IL, to help you overcome a key limitation. Running and walking are within reach again!