Pain in the front of the knee, often termed patellofemoral pain, is one of the most common causes of knee pain in patients, especially younger athletic patients that participate in activities such as running and biking.
What is patellofemoral pain syndrome?
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is pain behind the kneecap. It has been given many names, including patellofemoral disorder, patellar malalignment, runner's knee, and chondromalacia.
How does it occur?
The kneecap (patella) is attached to the large group of muscles in the thigh called the quadriceps. It is alsoattached to the shin bone by the patellar tendon. The kneecap fits into grooves in the end of the thigh bone(femur) called the femoral condyle. With repeated bending and straightening of the knee, you can irritate the inside surface of the kneecap and cause pain.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome also may result from the way your hips, legs, knees, or feet are aligned. This alignment problem can be caused by your having wide hips or underdeveloped thigh muscles, being knockkneed,or having feet with arches that collapse when walking or running (a condition called over-pronation).
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
• Pain under, around, or on sides of patella.
• Pain and stiffness under the patella after sitting for a while then getting upto walk.
• Grating, grinding, cracking, popping, “Rice Crispies” feeling under thepatella with knee motion. Pain in the patella area with running, climbing stairs, deep knee bending,or kneeling.
• Feeling like the knee locks or catches
What are the Causes?
• Overuse—too much, too often…long distance running, stair climbing, repetitivesquatting, or kneeling.
• Prolonged Pressure – prolonged sitting with bent knees (office, car seat, planeseat).
• Large Amounts of Force – exercise that requires the knee to bend against a largeforce or weight such as knee extension machine/leg extension machine at thegym, deep/full squats at the gym, direct blow to the knee or a fall on the knee.
• Type of Force – pounding or jumping activities, downhill running.
• Muscle Imbalance – tight muscles (hamstring and calf) will cause decreasedflexibility while walking/running forcing the patella to rub over a small area offemoral groove leading to pain from excessive friction in a focal area. Weak orpoorly toned muscles may not be able to adequately control the patella, allowingone area of the patella to be overused and get painful.
• Improper Footwear – running shoes that are not designed for long distancerunning (court shoes, cross trainer shoes) or running shoes that are worn out.Running shoes need to be changed every 300-500 miles or 4-6 months. The firstthing that should be done prior to returning to running after recovering from thistype of knee problem is to get a new pair of running shoes.
• Flat feet/Excessive foot pronation – this alters the joint mechanics and contributesto patellofemoral pain.
Treatment for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome in Augusta GA
As Augusta GA Chiropractors experienced in treating PFPS, Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic can formulate treatments tailored for your specific condition. Additionally, Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic are only chiropractors in Augusta GA that can provide chiropractic treatments in combination with FDA-approved cold laser therapy to help reduce the inflammation that is often found in PFPS sufferers. You can schedule a complimentary consultation with our office to find out if our customized treatments are the right fit for your condition.