Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome

Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome:
(AKA Chondromalacia Patellae)

This is a relatively common cause of knee pain in active individuals. Often first seen in adolescents but can affect anyone. It is often described as pain around the knee and knee cap area. Some times a noise ('crunching' or 'grinding') may be heard or felt. If you experience this be sure to have it diagnosed by a professional.

Sometimes knee pain just happens. But certain steps may help prevent the pain.

* Maintain strength. Strong quadriceps and hip abductor muscles help keep the knee balanced during activity, but avoid overly deep squatting during your weight training.
Think alignment and technique. Ask your Chiropractor or Family Doctor about flexibility and strength exercises to optimize your technique for jumping, running and pivoting — and to help the patella track properly in its groove. Especially important is exercise for your outer hip muscles to prevent your knee from caving inward when you squat, land from a jump or step down from a step.

* Lose excess pounds. If you're overweight, losing weight relieves stress on your knees.

* Warm up. Before running or other exercise, warm up with five minutes or so of light activity.

* Dynamically Stretch. Promote flexibility with gentle stretching exercises.

* Increase intensity gradually. Avoid sudden changes in the intensity of your workouts.

* Practice shoe smarts. Make sure your shoes fit well and provide good shock absorption. If you have flat feet and over-pronation, consider Orthotic Inserts.

Kevin Kraemer