Keep It Under Your Cap

Pain in the kneecap may be due to an outer thigh muscle (the vastus lateralis) that pulls the kneecap to the outer side of the leg with greater force than the weaker inner thigh muscle (the vastus medialis) This causes the kneecap to track off center, which irritates the cartilage and bone. To prevent this problem, strengthen the inner thigh muscle with partial knee extensions. Strap a five pound weight to one ankle. Sit on a chair and bend your knees 90 degrees. Lift the weighted ankle until the calf is parallel to the floor. Then, slowly lower it halfway (45 degrees). Lift it back to parallel focusing on squeezing the inner thigh muscle. Do three sets of 15 (going from 45 degrees to straight) with each leg.

Cyclists often experience pain in the kneecaps owing to years of peddling that over develops the outer thigh muscle.

When it comes to sports and exercise, it is important to know your body’s capabilities and limits. We are happy to help you with this endeavor. When an athlete is injured, we establish individual benchmarks, or progressive rehabilitation goals, reflecting the physician’s and the athlete’s expectations for the treatment results and his or her scheduled return to a competitive level of play. Please call us for an appointment to discuss your personal physical therapy issues.

Help for Sore Knees

When researchers at Brooke Army Medical Center conducted a study involving 69 patients with moderate knee pain caused by, they found that physical therapy significantly reduced pain and even prevented the need for surgery. While half the group received placebo treatment, the other half received hands-on care that included the gentle stretching of tight leg muscles to improve the knees’ range of motion, riding a stationary bike and light strength exercises. After eight visits, the physical therapy group’s pain and stiffness was eased by more than 50%. The placebo group experienced no change. One year later, those in the placebo group were four times more likely to require knee-replacement surgery than those treated with physical therapy. Only 5% of the patients who received physical therapy in the study required knee replacement after one year of treatment.