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Foam Rolling for Anterior Knee Pain – Torture or Treat??

Let’s be honest, we have all experienced some sort of knee pain over the years. Whether you are an active bunny, or a more sedentary sitter knee pain is a common problem.

We can separate knee pain into 3 categories to simplify our approach to treatment.

1)      Insidious acute overuse pain

2)      Traumatic pain

3)      Insidious chronic degenerative pain

Anterior knee pain is an umbrella term describing pain at the front or side of your knee, and can be aggravated by activity and inactivitiy. This can include conditions such as patellofemoral pain syndrome, and ITB syndrome to name but a few.

To know what condition you may be suffering you will need a detailed knee assessment by one of our physiotherapists, but if you have identified what your issue is, foam rolling may be a good way to help self-manage your painful knee problem.

ITB (iliotibial band) Syndrome

ITB syndrome is one of the largest causes of lateral knee pain (outside of your knee) in runners, and can be a problem for cyclists, rowers, and people who tread water like water polo players. The ITB is a thick piece of fascia that originates at the hip, and goes down the outside of the thigh inserting underneath the knee. Excessive knee flexion/extension during exercise can cause the band to rub across the lateral femoral condyle of the femur, inflaming the area and creating knee pain. Along with rest, ice, compression, elevation, strengthening of the hip musculature to support the lower limb, foam rolling the ITB can be helpful. See the link below to see the technique to use…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKTewyL73Zc  

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (can be known as Runner’s Knee)

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) describes pain generating from between the knee cap and the thigh bone. PFPS more commonly comes on gradually from a change in training regime that may have increased volume or intensity too quickly. It is also caused by weakness in the hip stability muscles, creating a more knocked kneed position of the legs. This is more common in women due to their pelvic position. Other symptoms of this syndrome can be an ache behind the knee cap with in a prolonged seated posture, eased by straightening it.

Treatment for this condition again could involve strengthening of the hip stability muscles, quadriceps (thigh muscles), and release techniques of the lateral quadriceps (outside thigh muscles) and ITB. This would help reduce the biomechanical strain occurring at the patellofemoral joint, and reduce pain. See the link below for quadriceps rolling techniques….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ukk_LNN_uPc

To make sure you have a firm diagnosis, and treatment plan it is always advisable to seek a physiotherapy assessment for any persistent pain or problem.

Please contact us for further information about anything that you have read in the blog, or for any other issue you may have.

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