What are the root causes of Knee Pain?
Knee pain is most often caused by Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) which is described as a painful irritation of the cartilage behind your kneecap. Although anyone could be affected, it is most commonly the result of over-repetitive use of the knee in sports that require jumping or running so it is sometimes referred to as "Runner's knee". PFPS is very commonly known as the cause of knee pain in the general population, affecting an estimated 25% of adults. At Maximum Performance, we see patients from all over Northwest Arkansas to treat a range of symptoms due to knee pain.
One of the most common causes of PFPS is an unstable connection between the muscles that help to guide your kneecap in its V-shaped groove at the end of your thigh bone. Continually flexing and extending a misaligned kneecap can lead to swelling and eventually arthritis, plus a lot of pain. Misalignment of a kneecap (patella) is often caused by problems in the hip and foot, especially weakness of your gluteal muscles or flat feet.
PFPS tends to cause a dull pain behind the kneecap that is worsened by prolonged running, squatting, walking, jumping, stair climbing or arising from a seated position. The pain can be aggravated when walking downhill or down stairs. If a long period of time elapses while you are still suffering with misalignment, it can cause damage to the cartilage, which results in popping, grinding or giving way.
The care that is provided in our office, is generally very successful at relieving your symptoms. Often you have to minimize activities that provoke your pain, especially jumping, running and activities that tend to put you into a "knock-kneed" position. You should not allow your knees to cross in front of your toes when squatting. Some athletes will have to modify their training regimes to include swimming or bicycling instead of running.
Doing your home exercises constantly is such a vital step to helping realign the patella, relieve pain and prevent recurrence. The use of ice or ice massages applied around your kneecap for 10-15 minutes, several times a day could prove to be helpful.