A person bent over holding their knee in pain in Bethesda.

Knee injuries are among the most common sports-related injuries exhibited by athletes worldwide. While the most severe injuries include damage to cartilage and ligaments such as the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), MCL (medial collateral ligament), and meniscus, a more common injury known as patellofemoral pain has been known to cause extreme frustration in athletes. This pain has been described by healthcare providers as pain that usually persists in the front of the knee or under the knee cap. This nagging and consistent pain has been known to be more evident after sports-related activities or vigorous workouts, sometimes leading to uncomfortable walking and other physical activities. Luckily, physical therapy can help those struggling from patellofemoral pain. Contact Bethesda Physiocare online or call (301) 656-5613 today to learn more about our services.

Have you found it difficult to get into and out of a car after a sports-related injury because of pain in the front of your knee? Or have you had a tough time going upstairs because of pain above your kneecap? Then, you are probably familiar with the signs and symptoms of patellofemoral pain syndrome. What do you do when this is a frequent occurrence? This is where the importance of hip mobility and strengthening comes in.

Many athletes are perplexed when told that their knee pain may be the cause of hip weakness and tightness. But the human body is like a house; weakness in the foundation of one part of the house can cause dysfunction in other parts of the house. The knee and hip have a very close relationship, and studies have shown impairment to one usually results in dysfunction in the other. In the case of patellofemoral pain/syndrome, knee pain at the front of the knee or under the knee cap tends to be the cause of poor mechanics at the hip as well as limitations in strength of hip musculature. One of the biggest hip musculature culprits is a weakness in the Gluteus Medius muscle, one of the three Gluteal muscles responsible for stabilizing our hip and pelvis when stand, walk, or run. When this muscle is weak, the pressure placed on this muscle will get distributed to nearby muscles not accustomed to the workload, thereby causing improper forces to be applied to muscles, tendons, and bones. 

By addressing tightness and mobility deficits in the hip, as well as strengthening the associated muscles, proper force distribution at the knee can occur. Through a series of flexibility and mobility exercises prior to sports-related injuries and a workout regimen that includes hip strengthening, athletes can fortify proper knee function and shake off the possibility of that nagging pain. By working with a physical therapist who understands these biomechanical and physiological concepts, you can become pain-free and maintain the progress you have attained. Call Bethesda Physiocare at (301) 656-5613 today to start your journey to a pain-free life.