Case StudyMegghan Ryan – Elite Myotherapist
Earlier this year a 42-year old female presented to the clinic with bilateral (left & right) knee pain. Her knee pain was present while going up and down stairs, squatting, and kneeling. The client was an active individual, participating in calisthenics numerous times a week; however calisthenics was becoming challenging due to her pain levels.
After a thorough assessment we were able to diagnose “Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome”. This is a common knee complaint and is usually described as pain felt behind the knee cap, where your patella articulates with your femur (thigh bone).
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is mainly due to excessive patella-femoral joint pressure from poor knee cap alignment. Your patella usually glides up and down through the femoral groove. As your knee bends, pressure between your patella and the groove increases. This pressure increased if the patella does not ride normally through the groove but travels more to one side, making it rub against the femur.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome affects 25% of the population at some time in their lives, however it is more common in athletes. The sports where patellofemoral pain syndrome is typically seen are those when running, jumping, and landing or the squatting position is required.
This client was suffering from patellofemoral pain syndrome due to a muscular imbalance in her quadriceps muscles. The imbalance was occurring between the vastus lateralis, which pulls your patella up and outwards, and the vastus medialis oblique which is the only quadriceps muscle that pulls your patella up and slightly in. The means that the patella is tracking laterally in the groove.
Our treatment plan over 6 weeks consisted of soft tissue techniques to the hip flexors, quadriceps (especially vastus lasteralis), iliotibialband, and gluteus medius. We also worked on strengthening her hip muscles to decrease the occurrence of the knees twisting abnormally due to weak hip control.
During our last appointment the client reported less pain during daily activities as well as less pain and more movement during calisthenics. The client is now scheduled in for maintenance sessions where we continue to work on the improvement of her pain levels and strengthen her hip control.
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