Episode 6 - Pain in the Front of Your Knee

November 30th 2017 |

Hey folks, I hope you are all staying healthy, happy and not injured in the cold weather.

I mentioned in my last blog post that I would teach you some exercises for the lower body. I started to think about which exercises would be best and then started to worry that if I gave you exercises that were not done completely as intended then they could potentially cause more harm than good. We are planning to have an online question and answer night with a few different therapists soon and it would be better to contact us that night with any specific questions.

In the meantime, Stella – one of our physiotherapists – has written a blog post on anterior knee pain. This is probably the most common thing we treat in the clinic. While many of you will be doing regular exercise just now and think the knee pain is due to that exercises, there can be other reasons why you might be getting knee pain when you exercise as well. And anyway, the benefits of regular exercise always outweigh the small things such as musculoskeletal injuries. We can fix those things!

Have a look at Stella's post and let us know if you have any questions. Keep an eye out for our upcoming event where you can call in or ask questions online with our expert panel.

Ross Smith




Pain in the front of your knee by Stella McCall

A very common problem we see here at Injury Shetland is pain at the front of the knee. As this is something I suffered from as a teenage athlete and again recently when I was working in an office job I thought I would share some ideas on how to fix this problem.

Why is it painful?

There are a few different reasons why you can get pain at the front of your knee. One of the most common is the kneecap maltracking. The kneecap sits in a groove at the front of your knee. As you move around and bend the knee it slides up and down in a groove at the front of the knee. If you have tension or imbalance in the muscles that attach to the knee it can cause it to slide awkwardly in the groove. This leads to pain and inflammation.

What causes knee pain?

There are many different things that can cause pain in the front of your knee including sports, posture and weakness but sitting too much is also a very common cause. People who go from sitting at a desk all day and then doing high level sports at night often present with pain in the front of the knee. If your workspace is not set up correctly then you may find yourself holding your knee in an awkward position for long periods of time. This can cause the muscles and tendons around the knee to become stiff and painful. Common symptoms include a dull ache at the front of the knee and below the kneecap, followed by sharp pain and stiffness when you get up from sitting.

If you work in an office you can make sure your workspace is set up for you. Some employers offer a workspace assessment from occupational health. Or you can make sure your chair is not too low so your knee is not stuck in a bent position. A chair that is too low often causes stiffness in the muscles up the back of the leg. The leg often twists to compensate for this and the front of the knee becomes the symptom. You'll most likely need to stretch out the muscles on the back of the leg as well as the ones on the front.

Make sure to get up and move around and stretch at least once every hour. If you can go for a walk or do some exercise at lunchtime or after work then your knee will thank you.

What physio can do to help?

When you come to see a physiotherapist at Injury Shetland we will initially find out as much as possible about your daily life, previous injuries and level of activity. This gives us a picture of what is causing your pain and any helpful changes you could make to your daily life. We will set goals together about what you would like to achieve and tell you how long it will take to fix the problem.

Treatment for kneecap pain usually initially focuses on stretching out the tight muscles around the knee. We will use hands on treatment to help decrease stiffness and give you stretches you can fit into your daily life. We will then work on building up the strength in the knee and helping you to return to any sports or hobbies.

So, have a think about the other things in your lifestyle that could be causing pain in the front of the knee; not just the sport you play or exercise you do. If you have knee pain that you think needs to be checked out then feel free to contact any of our therapists. There are lots of things we can do to help and get you to a life free of knee pain.

Stella McCall