Causes of patellofemoral knee pain
Patellofemoral knee pain is most commonly caused by poor alignment or tracking of the patella (knee cap) within the knee joint. This causes increased forces or pressure behind the knee leading to irritation of soft tissue and joint surfaces. If left untreated patellofemoral pain syndrome can lead to degeneration of the cartilage behind the patella (knee cap).
Other factors that can cause patellofemoral knee pain include overuse of the patella (knee cap), muscle imbalance or weakness, injury, surgery or poor foot biomechancis.
Poor foot mechanics (e.g. flat feet) are a major cause of patellofemoral knee pain. When your feet excessively pronate or roll in it causes the tibia bone to excessively rotate inwards. This then leads to excess internal rotation at the knee joint and poor tracking of the knee cap resulting in patellofemoral pain. Poor knee alignment can lead to future degeneration or arthritis within the knee joint and chronic pain.
Athletes involved in sports that involve a lot of running or jumping such as athletics, football and basketball may be more prone to patellofemoral knee pain.
Patellofemoral knee pain diagnosis
Patellofemoral knee pain is easily diagnosed clinically by our Melbourne podiatrists, who are experts in identifying sports injuries of the lower leg. In some cases referral for an x-ray may be required to check for cartilage degeneration behind the knee cap and within the knee joint.
Poor knee alignment and foot mechanics are a major cause of knee pain including patellofemoral pain. Our sports podiatrists can diagnose poor foot biomechanics and knee alignment through the use of computer gait analysis.
Podiatry treatment for patellofemoral knee pain
The sports podiatrists at Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics are experts in foot related knee pain including patellofemoral knee pain treatment. They can use computer gait analysis to assess your feet and gait, to see if poor foot function is a factor that needs correcting.
Treatment options at our podiatry clinic in Melbourne for patellofemroal knee pain include:
Orthotics work by improving foot function and this helps improve knee alignment. By reducing excess foot pronation (inward rolling of the feet) orthotics can reduce internal tibia rotation, keeping the knee joint straighter during activity.
A sports podiatrist is the best health professional to help identify and address biomechanical causes of knee pain.