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PatelloFemoral Joint Pain (Runner’s Knee)

Pain under the knee cap is the most common symptom of this condition. It is noted mostly when walking up and down stairs and after sitting for a long period.

To understand this condition, it is necessary to be aware of the knee cap anatomy.

compartments_pfThe knee cap (patella) has a groove in the thigh bone (femur) in which it slides up and down, when  you bend and straighten your leg. In a healthy knee, both the knee cap and its groove are lined in healthy, smooth cartilage.

Sometimes, the knee cap does not glide smoothly in its joint, so-called “mal-tracking” of the joint.  This is caused by various factors, some of which can be positively influenced by exercise. Pain is caused by the healthy cartilage being worn down by this incorrect tracking.

There may be many factors contributing to this condition. For example, weakness of certain muscles can negatively influence this condition. In particular, weakness of the butt/hip muscles, core and the quadriceps muscle are often involved. Additionally tightness of the longest quad muscle should be addressed. Flat, pronated feet can also contribute. On a more complicated level, it is important for muscular timing to be evaluated – neurodynamics.

Fortunately, this is a condition which responds well to physical therapy and some lifestyle changes such as changing footwear, losing weight, wearing orthotics (shoe inserts), knee braces, evaluating your training program and keeping fit.