Knee Pain? Could you be suffering from

  • September 05,2017

Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), or Runner's Knee is an aptly named condition relating to pain produced behind or around the knee cap (patella) due to friction or tight musculature. As the name suggests; this condition is extremely common in the running population and requires special attention.

What can cause Runner's Knee?



The main cause of Runner's Knee are muscle imbalances that prevent the kneecap from gliding smoothly in the groove of your thigh bone (Femur) (see xray left).







These imbalances include: a weakness of the outer gluteal muscles (gluteus medius and minimus), underactive inner quadricep (VMO) and a tight/over-active Illio-Tibial Band (ITB) and outer quadricep (VL). These can produce a pull on the knee cap UP towards the OUTSIDE of the knee resulting in friction underneath the kneecap which can irritate its underside 1. Another possible cause may be altered ankle biomechanics such as flat feet.

Symptoms include pain around the knee cap which is usually felt when pressure is placed on the muscles that extend the knee - particularly during activities such as: stair climbing, cycling, running or squatting 1.

How can Runner's knee be treated?


PFPS or Runner's knee will usually respond well to manual therapy and exercise 2. Manual Therapy for Runner's Knee may include massage to release tight musculatures such as the Tensor Fascia Lata (TFL), ITB, hamstrings and calves, as well as mobilising the patellofemoral joint.

Exercise has been proven to be extremely effective in the short and long-term management of Runner's Knee 3. A typical exercise program may consist of strengthening regimes targeting the outer glutes (gluteus medius/minimus), inner quadriceps (VMO) and balance training for the ankle where necessary. A good stretching or foam rolling routine that targets the calves, hamstrings and ITB is also advisable to help maintain mobility in these areas (SEE POST: FOAM ROLLER USER'S GUIDE).

Taping has shown to be a useful addition to exercise and manual care 4. The aim of taping is to provide pressure pulling the knee cap toward the midline to promote ideal positioning, better tracking for the knee and activation of the inner quadricep muscle (VMO).













Further information:

At Mortdale Family Chiropractic, we endeavour to use the best available methods to ensure our patients receive optimal care for their issues. If you or anyone you know is suffering from Runner’s Knee or knee pain contact us today on: (02) 8068 4455 or book online.

References:

(1) van der Heijden RA, Lankhorst NE, van Linschoten R, Bierma-Zeinstra SMA, van Middelkoop M. Exercise for treating patellofemoral pain syndrome. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews2015, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD010387. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010387.pub2.

(2) Effectiveness of Manual Therapy Combined With Physical Therapy in Treatment of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Systematic Review Espí-López, Gemma Victoria et al. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine , Volume 16 , Issue 2 , 139 – 146.

(3) van der Heijden RA, Lankhorst NE, van Linschoten R, Bierma-Zeinstra SMA, van Middelkoop M. Exercise for treating patellofemoral pain syndrome. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews2015, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD010387. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010387.pub2.

(4) Callaghan MJ, Selfe J. Patellar taping for patellofemoral pain syndrome in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD006717. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006717.pub2.