CHONDROMALACIA PATELLA – PATELLOFEMORAL PAIN
Patellofemoral pain is seen mostly in young people from adolescence to adulthood.
At the initial stages it occurs after prolonged sitting and generally when the knees are bent for a while. Gradually, the symptoms appear during walking and later when the person goes up and down the stairs.
In athletes who perform jumping activities during training and competition (basketball, volleyball), the pain occurs both during landing and take-off and often prevents the athlete from continuing the activity.
The mechanism of the problem is that when the anterior knee pain id felt, the quadriceps muscle is inhibited. It is a protective response from the brain, which further exacerbates the condition, especially when the individual continues the vigorous activity.
Additionally, the person starts putting more weight on the “healthy” leg, fearing that putting weight on the aching leg, the condition will worsen. This protective strategy leads to a series of chain reactions in the function of the lower limb muscles and the trunk muscles.
Our experience and current research have shown that exercise programs have a positive effect on both reducing symptoms and restoring the functional ability of both athletes and non-athletes. Gradual therapeutic exercise of all the muscles restores load tolerance and functional capacity.
After a full evaluation of the athlete or the simple trainee, an individualized progressive exercise program is created that usually includes:
- Strengthening of the knee muscles and especially the quadriceps muscle
- Strengthening of the core muscles and the hip muscles
- Restoring proprioception and balance to the lower extremity
- Motor control retraining and restoration of biomechanical strategies when performing sporting activities