Anterior Knee Pain
Another common term that you may associate this issue with is ‘patella tracking’. This is correct, but also incorrect. This is a biomechanical issue, meaning that you be experiencing pain at the front of your knee, but the factors causing ‘tracking’ can occur from the foot and hip regions also.
You may experience deep diffuse ache at the front of your knee that is difficult to pin point and sometimes pain can refer up the front of your thigh or at the back of the knee and up the hamstring. These symptoms are more predominant during loading activities such as going upstairs/hill and squats, it can also be painful after standing up from prolonged sitting.
A thorough assessment is crucial when deciding on the contributing factors and more importantly which one to intervene first. Tracking of the patella can occur to tight patella structures, ‘knock knees’ posture in standing, normal walking and during movement, flat feet and poor neuromuscular control of the core and gluteal muscles. This is all complex but very easy to understand and develop with our thorough assessment protocols that will enable you to understand what is going on and by doing this you are also involved in the decision making process.
A few of the common treatment approaches will involve taping to the knee cap, foot or hip to assess the more contributing factors. This is trialled over the first few sessions whilst re-training and activation exercises have already begun.
Isolation strengthening exercises to the biomechanical chain (core, glutes/hip, knee and ankle) will be the first point of call. Once all links to the chain are strong enough, weight bearing exercises will start which will test the integrity of each separate segment during whole body functional movements. Once at this stage the progression through our exercise program and onto your sport specific drills depends on the consistency and compliance of the rehabilitation program by yourself and our responsible clinicians. This is a biomechanical injury as mentioned above, so it will take time to train your muscles separately (depending on your level) and then combine them through the staged program. Be patient and trust the process.