My knee hurts. But I didn't do anything...
A common thing I see in the middle of the footy and netball season is people battling with pain in the front of their knees. The most common cause of pain at the front of the knee is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS). PFPS tends to be a gradually worsening pain rather than pain from a traumatic incident.
The main causes of PFPS are overuse and overload of the joint, anatomical or biomechanical abnormalities, muscular weaknesses, imbalances or dysfunction.
Like all muscle-type injuries, the starting point for self-management is to eliminate pain. The best way to do this is to Ice, Rest and Protect the knee. Avoiding activities that aggravate the pain is also really important. These types of activities tend to include: Stairs, squatting, kneeling, hopping, running.
PFPS is a very treatable condition with the vast majority of those with it becoming pain free and on the way to recovery with proper management. Proper management involves doing the things described above, many of which can be done by yourself. However, if your knee pain is more persistent or serious then you may need a physio to help you recover. A physio will help you get out of pain as quickly as possible and then teach you what you need to do to get fully better and to prevent the pain from coming back.
This sequence would involve the following over the course of treatment:
1. Eliminate acute pain (self-management and further strategies like taping)
2. Regain full pain-free movement of the knee
3. Knee strengthening program - In particular the quadricep muscle
4. Strengthening of the hip and ankle (the joints either side of an injury often contribute to ongoing issues)
5. Address any other contributing factors (e.g. biomechanics, load management)
6.Return to desired tasks (cycling, running, sport, gardening etc.)
If you're having trouble with a new or existing injury, make sure to contact us on (03) 5872 2221 and we'll be happy to make a time where one of our friendly physios will contact you to discuss what you can do to solve the problem for good 😊
Yours in health, Tom