Anterior Knee Pain

A person grasps their leg as they experience anterior knee pain

Anterior knee pain may also be called patella femoral syndrome and is characterized by pain at the front of the knee, around the kneecap.  It is a chronic condition that worsens with activities such as squatting, climbing stairs especially going downstairs, running and prolonged sitting ( also called movie goers knee).  It is usually due to a combination of factors including overload of the patellofemoral joint, muscular imbalances (too tight or too weak muscles around the knee and hip), anatomical and biomechanical abnormalities of the lower limb.

Management of anterior knee pain includes both stretching and strengthening of the muscles of the knee and hip and may include taping or bracing.  Quadricep training is particularly important, but must be done in a pain free manner.  An example of early quadricep exercises are shown below.

Anterior Knee Pain Exercises

Image of an Anterior Knee Pain exercise called Quads Over Roll
Quads Over Roll

Gluteal strengthening also plays a vital role in the rehabilitation process.  A sample of an exercise is shown below:

Image of an Anterior Knee Pain exercise called Clamshell exercise
Clamshell exercise

Lastly, releasing tight musculature around the knee joint and patellofemoral joint is also important.  Foam rolling or rolling of the quadricep muscle and iliotibial band (ITB) can be of benefit.

Anterior Knee Pain exercise called Quad and ITB Rolling
Quad and ITB rolling

Lastly, and not in the least, a physiotherapy assessment, followed by treatment specific to your symptoms , plays an important role.  Treatment may include manual therapy, dry needling and specific exercise prescription.  

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