Are your knees holding you back?

Petellofemoral joint pain (the fancy way of saying pain behind your kneecap)

Are your knees holding you back from doing what you want? Whether it is going a bit further up Queenstown Hill, working on your time to get to the gondola, or doing massive all-day missions in the mountains, this is the time of the year that we get a lot of people in the clinic with signs of patellofemoral joint pain (PFJP).

PFJP often develops after a sudden increase in training load, starting a new activity, over training, or activity after an injury. The pain is often caused by incorrect tracking of the kneecap in the groove that it naturally sits in. The main factors your physio will focus on are injury, muscle imbalance and poor biomechanics (movement patterns).

Biomechanical issues of the leg:

1: Pelvis dropping, causing increase in load on the outside of the knee

2: Hip collapsing, and thigh rotates inwards due to poor muscle control

3: Knee shifting inwards, placing more outward stress on the kneecap

4: Foot rolling inwards, causing rotation of the lower leg

How can physio help?

  • Treating any underlying injury
  • Reducing pain through taping, braces, or foot orthotics
  • Releasing any muscle or fascia tension
  • Giving targeted exercises to strengthen specific muscles
  • Giving integrated exercises to work on biomechanics and movement patterns
  • Guiding your return to full activity levels
  • Working on injury prevention strategies to prevent re-injury

The team at Queenstown Physio can also do video based running and bike assessments to accurately analyse your technique in these sports to keep you in top form for the summer.

Have fun out there this summer and remember to gradually increase your training, starting slow with new sports, stretch after activity, and to get treatment for pain or poor technique early so you don’t turn a niggle into an annoying injury!

*Information adapted from La Trobe University resources