Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome can be defined as a Retro-patellar (behind the knee cap) or Peripatellar (around the knee cap) pain, resulting from physical and biomechanical changes on the patellofemoral joint. It should be distinguished from chondromalacia, which is an actual fraying and damage of the articular cartilage of the patella. People that have PPS have anterior knee pain that typically occurs with activity and often worsens when going down steps or hills. The pain can occur with sitting for prolonged periods of time, and affect one or both knees at the same time.
If you are experiencing knee pain or have a knee injury or condition, ask your osteopath what exercises are appropriate (safest and most effective) for you.
- Calf Muscles Stretch: To stretch left calf muscle, step back with left leg, forward with right. Bend right knee (keep left leg and back in a straight line as you lean forward) until you feel a gentle stretch in the left calf. Do not roll foot out to side. Keep heel flat, foot forward. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.
- Quad Muscle Stretch: Stand. Bend right knee, grab front of right ankle and bring heel to buttocks with hand. Keep knees together. Do not arch back. Do not let leg go to side. Point knee toward floor. Tighten buttocks and tuck tailbone under to increase stretch.Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.
- Hamstring Stretch: Standing position. Keep one leg on ground; put one foot on chair with leg straight. Bend forward at the hip. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side. Do not attempt to touch your toes as this will stretch your back, and the goal of this exercise is to isolate your hamstring muscles in the leg that is being supported by the chair. Sitting in chair hamstring: Straighten one leg, keeping heel on floor. Lean forward at hips, keeping back straight. Don’t try to touch your toes. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.
- Iliotibial Band Stretch: Standing. To stretch the right side, cross right leg behind left leg. Bending from the hip, lean torso to the left - pushing hips to the right. The stretch is felt on the outer right hip and thigh. Keep right leg straight, left knee slightly bent. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side. Sitting position: Sit in chair or on floor. Bring right foot to outside of left leg, bringing knee towards opposite shoulder so that the knee crosses the midline of the body. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.
- Hip Adductors (Upper Inner Thigh) Stretch: Standing: Step off to the side with the right leg. Bend left knee slightly (do not extend knee beyond toe) and move your right foot further to right until your feel a stretch in your right inner thigh. Hold stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side. Sitting position: Sit on floor, spread legs into a V position. Slowly lean forward from your hips, keeping your back straight, until you feel the stretch. Do not bounce. Then lean towards the right, foot then left foot. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Hip Abductors (Upper Outer Thigh) Stretch: Sit on the floor, legs extended in front of you. Bend right leg and place right foot on floor on outside the left knee. Twist upper body to right and use left elbow to gently push against outside of right knee until you feel a gentle stretch in the right hips, buttocks, and lower back. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.
- Hip flexors (front of hips) Stretch: Tightness in these muscles can affect the alignment of the knee bones.Standing Exercise: Step forward with the right leg, bending right knee (to increase the stretch, take a larger step). Do not extend right knee past toes. Keep left knee slightly bent with heel off the ground. Keep back upright. This stretches the front of the hip on the left side. Push the left hip forward to increase the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.
- Gluteal Stretch (back of hips / buttocks): Stand in front of chair, about two feet away from chair. Place left foot on chair, leg bent. Bring your chest towards your knee, keeping back straight. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.