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Do your knees crack? Are your knee caps painful? Do you have trouble squatting? Running? Jumping? You may have Patella-Femoral Joint Pain.
Knee Pain: Patello-Femoral Joint (PFJ)
By Chelsea Longbeach Physiotherapist
There are many structures in and around the knee which, in certain situations, can contribute to knee discomfort. One common presentation of knee discomfort, is called Patellofemoral Joint (PFJ) pain.
What is the PFJ?
It is the joint between your knee cap (patella) and your thigh bone (femur). When your knee bends and straightens, the patella moves up and down, against the femur, as the quadriceps shorten and lengthen.
What causes PFJ pain?
It is typically caused by excessive joint stress, which in turn can be caused by several potential drivers.
1. You may have increased the amount of force you’re putting through this joint. For example, an increase in training load, change of footwear, change of running speed, increased weight, tight quadriceps.
2. You may have decreased the contact areas between the patella and femur. For example, the patella position may have moved sideways slightly, or your knee mechanics may have changed in response to issues at your hip or feet.
(A decrease in contact area between the patella and femur, increases the pressure applied through the parts of bone still in contact with each other. Think about standing on thin ice. You’re more likely to crack the ice when standing on two feet, as opposed to lying down, because your weight is concentrated into a smaller area, hence more pressure.)
Where will I feel the discomfort?
Knee discomfort at this joint, is typically experienced underneath the patella. You may hear or feel a grinding sensation when you bend your knee. Particularly when walking up/down stairs, squatting, running or kneeling.
What can my Physiotherapist do to help?
* Tape your patella for initial discomfort relief
* Help release tight structures that may be affecting your patella alignment
* Help tighten structures around the knee, to better align your patella
* Help muscle dysfunction
* Provide advice on training load and footwear choice
* Help improve your shock absorption, hence reduce the compressive forces through the joint
* Correct lower limb biomechanics – orthotics
CLICK the link below to book appointment with one of experienced physiotherapists if your knee pain just wont leave you alone. ??
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