Chondramalacia Patella is the most common knee condition seen by physiotherapists. It is also referred to as Patellar Femoral Pain syndrome or ‘Runners Knee’. It results in inflammation on the under surface of the knee cap and in its more advanced stages a softening or wearing down of the cartilage that lines the bone. Chondramalacia Patella is usually an overuse injury and is particularly common in sports people or athletes who do a lot of running or jumping and are repetitively loading the knee joint. Although it is a common injury seen in sport it is not confined to sports people alone and can often present in people who do a lot of walking or hiking. Those suffering with the condition will often describe a deep ache in the front of the knee during activities which load the joint, if the condition is more severe some might experience a sharp pain and a feeling that the knee is going to give way.
The cause of Chondramalacia Patella is directly related to an increase in the load being placed on the knee joint. In order to effectively treat the condition a Chartered Physiotherapist will look at the factors which may be contributing to the knee joint being overloading. These factors may be both extrinsic (outside of the body) and/or intrinsic (bodily abnormalities) which are influencing the magnitude and distribution of forces acting on the joint. Examples of extrinsic factors include footwear, training volume, and training surface. Intrinsic factors are the biomechanical abnormalities which affect lower limb function. Weakness in the hip stabiliser muscles or thigh muscles (particularly the gluteals and/or the vastus medialis oblique muscle) can effect lower limb alignment and how the knee cap tracks within the joint when we walk and run. Tightness in any of the soft tissue structures around the hip and knee can also affect how the knee joint is loaded and must be addressed. In addition poor foot biomechanics, particularly people whose feet roll in or ‘overpronate’ excessively can lead to added stress on the knee joint and contribute to injury.
Our Chartered Physiotherapists will carry out a thorough examination of your knee pain and will provide you with an accurate diagnoses. Depending on the diagnoses and underlying causes our physiotherapist may use a combination of treatment techniques. At Portobello Physiotherapy Clinic we use a number of evidence based treatments to address both the symptoms and causes of knee pain including: rehabilitative exercise, massage, dry needling, ultrasound, laser, corrective sports taping, kinesio tape and prescription orthotics.