How to prevent Patello-femoral dysfunction and knee pain
What is it?
Damage to the patella-femoral joint.
The back of your patella (knee cap) is lined with cartilage which helps it glide in a groove located at the end of your femur (thighbone) when you bend and straighten your knee. This is the patella-femoral joint. Your quadriceps muscles, as well as other tendons and ligaments, attach directly to the patella and help to keep it in its groove. An imbalance in these structures (weakness, tightness, looseness) can cause pain in this joint.
Imbalances in your hip and foot can also affect your knee (patella-femoral joint) by altering the alignment of the knee and changing the forces acting on the patella. Long-term damage can be caused if not detected in the beginning stages. Athletes who suffer from recurrent patella femoral problem often end up missing long periods of training or dropping their sport all together.
Follow these three easy steps
Improve your Strength
Start a balanced program of strengthening exercises for your quadriceps, hamstrings, VMO, and ITB (illiotibial band). Your quadriceps muscles (front of your thigh) help to hold your kneecap in place. Weakness of the quadriceps and other leg muscles can cause you to develop patella-femoral pain. Pain and inflammation in your knee can cause your inside quadriceps muscle, called the vastus medialis obliques (VMO) to shut down. There are many ways to strengthen your quadriceps without causing injury.
Increase your Flexibility
[/tab][tab id=”2″] Tight and inflexible muscles can increase the pressure at your patella-femoral joint, resulting in pain at the front of your knee. Tightness of your hamstring muscles (back of your thigh) can cause your quadriceps to work harder to overcome the resistance of your hamstrings; thereby, putting more stress on your kneecap. A simple hamstring stretching routine, after working out, may add sufficient pliability to keep you away from this very common injury.[/tab]
Modify your activity
Lastly, It is extremely important to avoid activities that cause knee pain. When performing endurance exercises or weight training, IF IT HURTS, DON’T DO IT! Knee pain and inflammation can cause your quadriceps muscles to weaken, and irritate your kneecap resulting in knee dysfunction limiting all your training goals.