There are many factors that can lead to knee pain, such as joint degeneration, trauma, inflammation, etc. But why may a young athlete with no mechanism of injury start experiencing knee pain? Often the cause is muscular imbalances; tight muscles in one area and weak muscles in another, that put abnormal stress upon the joint.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) is one of the most common knee related disorders experienced by athletes, particularly young female athletes. Risk factors that may make an individual more susceptible to developing PFPS include:
• Tight and shortened thigh musculature
• Poor hip strength and stability
• Poor tracking of the knee cap
• Wide hips
• Poor foot alignment and control
Pain is typically experienced in the front of the knee and is aggravated with activities that load or require repetitive use of the knee, such as sports, stairs, running, walking and squatting.
Treatment is non-operative and should address the functional cause of the symptoms. Below are some easy stretches to help maintain proper muscle length and prevent imbalances that may lead to knee pain.
Hold all stretches for 30 seconds, and repeat 2 times per leg for each stretch. Perform once per day after some physical activity so that your muscles are warmed up and you are sweating.
If these stretches do not improve your symptoms, give us a call at Beddington (403.295.8590) and Jeanine will perform a thorough assessment to determine the functional cause of your symptoms. She can develop an individualized rehabilitation program to address your personal needs and return you to full function, and most importantly get you moving faster and feeling better.
Petersen, W., Gosele-Koppenburg, A., Best, R., Rembitzki, I.V., Bruggemann, G., Liebau, C., (2014) Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. Knee Surg. Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 22:2264-2274
Prins, M., Wurff, P. (2009) Females with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome have weak hip muscles: a systematic review. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy 55: 9-15