Healthcare providers usually call pain at the front of your knee or under your kneecap patellofemoral pain syndrome. Most often, this pain occurs after exercise, but you may also feel it if you sit too long. Over time, your knee may begin to hurt during exercise or throughout the day. You may feel a nagging ache or an occasional sharp pain. This pain may cause you to limp and may limit your activities. This can be very frustrating, but there is good news: exercises can reduce knee pain and allow you to return to normal activities without needing surgery. Although we have known the benefits of exercise for some time, we were not sure which exercises were best at quickly reducing your pain. A study published in the August 2011 issue of JOSPT provides new insight and evidence-based exercises to help answer this question.
Patients with knee pain may benefit from starting with hip strengthening exercises. Potential benefits include faster pain relief and better hip strength. You may be curious why the patients in the hip group got better quicker. This may be because the knee strengthening exercises actually irritated the knee, or perhaps because the exercises that focused on hip strengthening helped improve the mechanics of the entire leg and so reduced stress on the knee. Although starting off with hip strengthening exercises may decrease the pain sooner, it is important to follow hip exercises with specific functional exercises that target the muscles of the entire leg. You also need to consider the physical activities you perform and your response to this exercise approach to ensure your best outcome.
Follow this link to see diagrams of appropriate exercises and to read more.
If you have any questions about which exercises are right for you and your condition, make sure to ask Dr. Johnson.