Knee Pain

There are many reasons for knee pain, below is some information on some of the most common causes.

Patella-Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

PFPS is one of the most common and one of the most challenging conditions. Pain usually occurs at the front of the knee and is caused by the kneecap not lining up correctly with the femur underneath. This can cause pain, grinding of the knee or the feeling that it is locking. These symptoms are caused by an imbalance in the knee ranging from weak quadriceps, misalignment of the hip and pelvis or tightness of the ITB.
These imbalances are worsened by sporting activity, walking downstairs or running. Even prolonged sitting can be uncomfortable. The best PFPS treatment is initially rest from aggravating activities, strengthening the glutes, quadriceps and stretching of the hamstrings and calves. Conservative treatment of the knee involves massage, acupuncture and mobilisation techniques. PFPS has great success with conservative therapy.

Patella Tendinopathy (Jumpers Knee)

This is pain in the front of the knee due to inflammation of the patella tendon. It usually happens when there is a lot of bending at the knee such as jumping or running. The tendon is often very tender and swollen. Treatment involves rest and releasing the stress on the tendon as much as possible with a combination of massage, mobilisation and strapping.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB)

ITB syndrome is a very problematic are for keen runners. The Illiotibial band is the tendon that runs along the outside of your femur and attaches to the outside of your knee. Repeated flexion of the hip and knee can cause it to rub and irritate the outside of the knee. The pain normally starts when running, and can worsen until it is rested. Treatment involves analyzing your running or walking technique and observing areas for weak or tight muscles and joints. Once identified rehabilitation and conservative treatment should help resolve the issue.

Knee arthritis

There are many types of arthritis that affect the knee but the most common is osteoarthiritis (wear and tear). Your knees are one of the main weightbearing joints in the body and overtime the joint line can wear away resulting in pain, swelling and stiffness. Therefore large amounts of repetitive movement such as running or increasing in weight can worsen the symptoms.

The knee is often worse with activity and stiffness can increase throughout the day. Some patients notice mornings can be quite troublesome on the knee and it can take a few minutes for the knee to start moving. This problem mainly comes in waves and can be fine one minute and bad the next. Conservative treatment is very successful in mild to moderate cases. However sometimes surgical intervention is needed, such as an arthroscopy or knee replacement, as the wear and tear is too severe. After having an operation it is vital to see your practitioner as soon as possible to remove any tight muscles and prescribe exercises to prevent reoccurrence.

If you feel you are getting the early stages of osteoarthritis in the knee then try a ten minutes of gentle cycling everyday as it will help to keep the joint mobile.