Knee pain (especially “anterior” pain at the front of your knee, and under your kneecap) is a common condition in our clinic. It especially affects runners, and women between the ages of 30-50 who are starting out their new exercise program. In fact the incidence of patellofemoral syndrome (or pain at the front of the knee) in women is 20%, compared with 7.4% in men.
Common symptoms include:
- pain with squats/lunges,
- difficulty climbing and descending stairs, and even
- pain when sitting for long periods with your knees bent.
There may also be swelling or weakness that gradually gets worse. Painful, excessive clicking or grinding might also be a factor. However, clicking by itself is not always a sign of something wrong.
Several factors can cause anterior knee pain. These include:
- poor movement patterns when running/squatting,
- tight muscles in the outside of your thigh and calf, and even
- poor alignment in your feet, e.g. your feet rolling in when you walk and run.
These risk factors may have been present for many years, but only become a problem when you increase exercise volume or work levels.
If you are experiencing knee pain, try a few of the following Physio Tips:
- Ice your knees for 10-15 mins after each workout/work day for pain relief.
- Decrease the incline on the treadmill, or walk on flat areas instead of hills. This will reduce foot rolling.
- Do small range (pain-free) squats instead of lunges in your training program. Sometimes even the weight of your body in a lunge is too much for weakened thigh muscles to stabilise.
- Ensure you wear proper supportive shoes during your workout, and replace them regularly.
- Get professional advice from your physiotherapist or doctor.
If squats are an essential part of your training programme, here are a few more tips on how to make them friendlier for your knees:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
- Squat as though you are about to sit on a chair
- Keep your gaze on the horizon
- Keep your knees in line with your second toe
- Keep your weight in your heels
- Don’t let your knees go forward past your toes as you squat down
The good news is that most knee pain issues can be effectively treated with a range of physio-designed exercises and stretches. But beware: the longer you leave a problem, the harder it gets to fix.
If you have knee pain and would like some advice, call the BodyFit Physiotherapy Group central booking number on 09-5328942. You can arrange a full assessment and treatment on this number for either of our two clinics: Howick and Mt Wellington. Remember often left untreated your knee pain can snowball into a bigger, more serious problem so don’t delay your visit to us.
If you are unsure whether physio can help and would like a FREE Assessment, fill in a FREE assessment form on the right-hand side to register. Or simply call us to book 09-5328942 to make a booking.