Pain under, or around, the kneecap is very common, and commonly presents after a sudden increase in strenuous activities, often involving running, jumping or repetitive squatting. However, the pain can even occur after walking more than one is accustomed to eg. on cobblestone surfaces or uneven ground. The pain, which is also known as anterior knee pain or patellofemoral (kneecap joint) pain, is often described as a nagging ache or occasional sharp twinge. One may feel this pain after sitting for a long time, then standing up; going up and down stairs, inclines or declines, jumping or running, especially on hills.If the pain is acute, it can be quite debilitating.
The latest research indicates that the best treatment is a combination of hip- and knee strengthening exercises as opposed to strengthening the knee muscles alone.
A holistic approach that combines education as to how to manage the condition in it’s various stages, strengthening exercises for the hip and knee, taping (most effective in the first 4-6 weeks) , shoe inserts and manually mobilising the kneecap joint is likely to be most effective.
Over- the – counter shoe inserts may assist in recovery in the first 6 weeks, however, some people may require these inserts, or custom orthotics for ongoing management and prevention of recurrence.
If you have anterior knee pain, consult a physiotherapist here who will evaluate you and then devise a treatment program to reduce symptoms, and assist in returning you to your desired physical activities, sports or work.