Have you ever experienced pain around or under your kneecap? This pain is also known as anterior knee pain or patellofemoral pain. Each year, around 2.5 million runners are diagnosed with this type of knee pain. This problem can also decrease the amount of exercise or sport people will perform for up to 5 years after the onset of the injury.

What is the cause of anterior knee pain?

Most physical therapists will agree that there are a number of factors that can contribute to patellofemoral pain. In a thorough physical evaluation, a therapist will most likely look at your hip or gluteal strength, quadricep or thigh strength, the tracking or alignment of your kneecap, and the mobility at your foot and ankle. All of the above factors can affect the mechanics between the kneecap and femur thus causing anterior knee pain.

What are the best treatments for anterior knee pain?

After the physical evaluation, the therapist will aim treatment at what factors they feel are contributing most to the pain. Those treatments may consist of hip or gluteal strengthening exercises, quadricep or thigh strengthening exercises, taping or bracing of the knee, mobility exercises for the foot or ankle, and orthotic fabrication.

Prognosis of anterior knee pain

The expected time of recovery will vary for everyone as we are all different and in different stages of the injury. However, most people will start to notice significant improvement within 4-6 weeks after initiation of treatment. The key to success is consistent physical therapy and a thorough home exercise program prescribed by your therapist!

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