The fancy word for pain in the front of your knee or underneath your knee cap is patellofemoral pain. This pain can be caused by several factors and new research supports a holistic approach to treatment.
Think about where your knee is located...between your hip and ankle, right? Due to their close proximity to the knee, these joints can affect knee alignment, forces, and ultimately can cause knee pain. So, it's best to think about the whole lower extremity together as possibly contributing to pain.
Let’s move down from the hip to the foot to see how altered movement and strength at these joints affect knee pain…
Hip - Weak hip strength can cause your lower leg to rotate inward during dynamic exercise causing increase stress under your knee cap.
Thigh - One of the functions of your front thigh musculature (quadriceps) is to absorb compression and shock from your knee. If these muscles are weak then added compression forces are transferred to the knee joint.
Foot – Too much or limited motion of the foot alters knee alignment also attributing to knee pain.
All of these factors can contribute to knee pain, so make sure your health-care provider looks at the whole picture! Take a look at the figure below. The good news is that there are targeted interventions for each body part that are proven to be beneficial!
The figure above is courtesy of the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy. You can visit the journal for even more information on common physical therapy treatments for knee pain.
|More About Frank J Klene|