Pain at the front of the knee and under the kneecap is a frequent complaint, experienced by up to 14% of the population. This discomfort is often diagnosed as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome and is something easily managed with a comprehensive treatment approach, according to leading local physiotherapist Aaron Hardaker from Urunga Physiotherapy and Northern Beaches Physiotherapy in Woolgoolga.

“The typical Patellofemoral Pain patient presents with a history of a generalised ache at the front of the knee. The pain is often aggravated by running (especially downhill), stairs and sitting for prolonged periods with the knee bent,” said Mr Hardaker.  Recent research has shown that effective management of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome starts with treatment to actively control pain and inflammation – this is best achieved with a combination of ice, rest from aggravating activities, anti inflammatory medication and the use of patellofemoral taping to reduce pressure on the injured joint.

“An important component of the rehabilitation process is the need for an effective strengthening program to restore pre-injury function. The majority of exercises should be performed pain free with close attention being paid to any post-exercise pain and especially increased pain the morning after a rehabilitation session,” stated Mr Hardaker. Other key elements of a successful Patellofemoral Pain rehabilitation program usually include specific stretching of the iliotibial band, hamstrings, calves and quadriceps, as well as effective deep tissue massage or trigger point dry needling of these muscles.

Many sufferers of Patellofemoral pain have issues relating to poor foot mechanics and excessive pronation, which can act to increase rotation of the lower limb.  This often contributes to alignment issues; it has found to be beneficial for this to be controlled with an individually designed orthotic device placed in their shoes to assist in controlling foot function. While patellofemoral pain is a very common injury it is also very treatable and with the right combination of rehabilitation exercises, stretching and biomechanical correction the sufferer will be back to sport in next to no time.
If you are suffering from knee pain and want to see if your feet are contributing to the problem, our team you the chance to get a FREE computerised foot scan and biomechanics analysis (usually $90).  There is only 20 available – call the clinics now on 6654 0244 or 6655 6865 to secure your free appointment and avoid disappointment.

This article appeared in the Bellingen Courier Sun on August 7th, 2013.

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