Knee Pain and Patellofemoral Syndrome
The tracking of the kneecap, or patella, in the patellar groove on the femur, or thigh bone, is important for optimum motion of the knee and the surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments. PFPS is an injury when the tracking of the patella is off and it grates against the femur causing pain and inflammation. When muscles such as the vastus medialis oblique (VMO) are weak or if there is poor alignment of the lower leg such as genu valgum (knock-knee), calcaneal valgus (overpronated ankle) or excessive internal rotation of the tibia and femur then there will be a tracking disorder of the patella. Pain can occur during activities such as running, sports with starting and stopping motions, when climbing stairs or during periods of prolonged sitting. All of these actions compress the patella into the femur and contribute to inflammation.
Many athletes can experience knee pain during a workout or afterwards. Training schedules, poor alignment, worn out footwear, joint instability and muscle tightness or weakness can be a few contributing factors. There are a number of ways that one can get rid of knee pain and get back to training! If you are suffering from knee pain, visit your family or sports medicine doctor for guidance. They may recommmend you consult with a physiotherapist for a stretching and strengthening program and they may recommend you consult with a pedorthist to address your gait biomechanics and or your footwear.
HELPFUL EXERCISES: DOOR SQUATS
Using a door for support, practice a full squat. Do NOT lean back using the door, only use the support of the door if you begin to fall back. As you squat, stick your butt out first and then drop it down as attempting to sit while keeping your chest up. Keep your feet pointed straight and your knees in alignment over your feet. Keep your weight into your heels and keep your nose against the door jam the entire time. Stress should be felt in the thighs and gluts, NOT the knees. Repeat.
THE RIGHT FIT: SHOE RECOMMENDATION
Brooks Glycerin 15
Offers neutral support and great cushioning, with a heel drop of 10mm. Comes in wide widths.
Asics Gel-Cumulus 18
Offers neutral support and great cushioning, with a heel drop of 8.6 mm. Comes in wide widths.
A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Read my article that was recently featured in the Beacon Herald: