4. Kneecap Pain Symptoms
5. Kneecap Pain Treatment
5.2 Patella Knee Straps
5.3 Physical Therapy for Kneecap Pain
5.4 Surgery for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
7. Preventing Kneecap Pain
8. Recover from Kneecap Pain
We rely on our knees to get us from A to B, but we don’t always appreciate them until we have knee problems. If you are suffering from kneecap pain, you are probably wondering what the underlying cause is and how you can improve it. There are a number of reasons your kneecap could be hurting. In this article, we will explain the possible causes of pain above, below, and under the kneecap. We will also talk you through the best kneecap pain treatment, so you can be on your way to recovery.
Our knees bear our entire weight, as well as any extra force exerted through exercise like running or jogging. It’s no surprise knees are susceptible to pain.
Kneecap pain could refer to a number of ailments, most of which are common and easy to treat. Patellofemoral pain, also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome or runner’s knee, describes pain around the front of the knee.
General kneecap pain appears in many locations. Some people may experience pain behind the kneecap. Others will feel pain on the top of the kneecap, around it, or underneath it.
Your patella, or kneecap, is a thick, rectangular bone that sits above the knee joint. Its triangular shape allows it to fit into the groove at the bottom of the thigh bone (femur). You can see and feel your kneecap moving in and out of this groove when you bend and straighten your leg.
The patella is a sesamoid bone, meaning it is embedded within a tendon or muscle. In fact, it is the largest sesamoid bone in the human body.
Several tendons and ligaments connect the thigh bone to the top of the shinbone. These hold together and stabilize the joint, while allowing movement.
Underneath the patella is articular cartilage. When our cartilage is healthy, it allows for easy, gliding movement without friction. The cartilage also absorbs shock during movement. Cartilage can be damaged over time, through wear and tear, as well as through specific injuries or impacts.
There are several conditions that cause kneecap pain. Here are some of the most common:
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a broad term referring to pain at the front of the knee and pain around the kneecap.
If you go to the doctor with this sort of pain, but without any other signs of damage or injury, he or she will likely call it patellofemoral pain.
If you regularly go jogging or running and start to experience kneecap pain while running, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with runner’s knee.
Despite the name, runner’s knee can happen to anyone, including non-athletes. It is often caused by overuse of the knee, particularly if you do a lot of bending, jumping, or high-impact exercise. This term is often used interchangeably with patellofemoral pain syndrome.
The patella can become dislocated, completely or partially. This occurs when the kneecap moves too far to one side. A patella dislocation is usually caused by an injury or a fall. Athletes are at increased risk, as well as older people who are more likely to have a fall.
Patellar subluxation refers to a partial dislocation, but it is also used to refer to unstable kneecaps. Instability in the kneecap can cause notable pain and can prohibit proper movement.
If your kneecap becomes dislocated, the pain will usually be immediate and obvious, and it’s usually followed by swelling. Subtler forms of patellar subluxation may initially cause only discomfort.
An acute knee injury often occurs during sports or exercise, through a direct impact or blow to the knee. It can also happen following a sharp twisting of the knee joint. This can lead to a dislocated kneecap or even a fracture.
There are a number of conditions or injuries that can cause pain under the kneecap. Often, pain in the kneecap occurs due to continuous overuse of the knee. Other reasons for kneecap pain include tendonitis and bursitis, which are separate but often linked conditions.
Chondromalacia patella refers to damage to the articular cartilage behind the kneecap and can cause pain behind the kneecap and pain below the kneecap. Adolescents and young adults are particularly at risk of chondromalacia patella.
Serious, long-term conditions such as osteoarthritis or a misaligned patella could also be causing problems. Your doctor will ask questions, check your medical history, and perform a physical examination to assess the cause of your kneecap pain.
Some of the most common causes of kneecap pain are:
If you are suffering from kneecap pain, then you are already pretty familiar with the symptoms! However, the exact location of the pain varies depending on the individual and the pain’s root cause. Knee pain is most often felt during certain activities, like bending or walking, but it can also occur throughout the day.
The main types of kneecap pain are:
The times and situations in which you encounter pain may vary, but will usually include:
Other symptoms may include knee cracking, popping, tenderness, or swelling around the kneecap.
If you experience kneecap pain, speak with your doctor for a full examination and diagnosis. If you have an underlying condition such as tendonitis or osteoarthritis, you will need to consider additional treatments.
In the short term, relieve your symptoms with painkillers, ice packs, and rest. Although it can be difficult—particularly if you are an athlete—refrain from activities that are causing or exacerbating your knee pain until you recover.
If you have suffered an acute knee injury during sports or exercise, or if you have incurred an injury through a sharp twisting action, immediate steps must be taken. Follow the PRICE method to relieve your pain and prevent further damage.
Knee braces are particularly beneficial for people suffering from kneecap pain. By providing compression and support, braces provide noticeable kneecap pain relief.
Wraparound knee braces provide customizable support and compression to relieve and prevent kneecap pain. ( See Product)
Wraparound braces use Velcro straps so you can fit the brace perfectly to your knee. This makes them particularly easy to use. The compression is useful for reducing swelling, and some have patella openings for comfort.
Hinged knee braces offer heavy-duty support and stabilization for severe pain and injuries. ( See Product )
Hinged braces incorporate hinges to support and offload the knee joint. They are slightly more heavy-duty and provide significant support and stability.
Even after recovery, a knee brace is crucial during running and other exercise.
Knee straps are the most comfortable and unobtrusive option for relieving and preventing your kneecap pain. (See Product)
Another option for kneecap pain relief is patella knee straps. These work by applying mild pressure to the tendon, helping to improve patella tracking. Aside from assisting in the healing process, knee straps prevent further injury.
The best physical therapy routine depends on your lifestyle, fitness level, and type and cause of kneecap pain. Your doctor will refer you to a physical therapist for a customized rehab program.
Some of the most common forms of physical therapy for knee and kneecap problems involve gentle stretching and range-of-motion exercises.
Don’t rush back into intense exercise or activity if you are experiencing pain in the kneecap. And be sure to wear a knee brace or knee sleeve during exercise for knee stability and support.
Knee sleeves provide compression to improve blood circulation, reduce swelling, and alleviate pain. ( See Product)
Surgical intervention for patellofemoral pain is not common. Usually, more conservative treatments or lifestyle changes will suffice.
If your doctor does recommend surgery for your kneecap pain, the type of procedure may be arthroscopy. In this type of surgery, the surgeon inserts a tiny camera into the knee joint. Debridement may be used to remove damaged cartilage.
Most people recover from kneecap, patella pain with relative ease and speed. However, recovery time will depend on the severity of your pain and the underlying cause.
If you have suffered a serious or acute knee injury, follow your doctor’s advice for treatment. A dislocated kneecap, for example, can take six weeks to heal. A fracture can take several months to heal completely. For minor injuries or problems, use the PRICE method.
Conditions such as runner’s knee (or patellofemoral pain syndrome) may heal with at-home treatments, such as icing, compression, and rest. Consult your doctor for a detailed prognosis and prediction of recovery time.
Sometimes we take our knees for granted. Simple precautions can protect our knees to avoid kneecap pain altogether.
Get your life back on track by saying goodbye to kneecap pain. As frustrating, confusing, and debilitating as it can be, pain in the kneecap often has a straightforward cause. By taking precautions, speaking to your doctor, and caring for your knees, you can achieve a full recovery and prevent re-injury.
Decades of wearing uncomfortable shoes can take a big toll on the toes, and one of the most common consequences is developing a hammer toe. Luckily, a hammer toe straightener can realign toes and relieve pain.
Those confined to a bed or chair can know how it feels when everything is just out of reach. In this case, a folding reacher grabber could be the handiest tool you own. Combine your grabber tool’s extended reach with a folding design that makes it easy to carry wherever you go.
For those constantly on the move, legs can certainly take a pounding. To take the edge off pesky aches and pains, a heating pad for legs may be the answer. Non-invasive and drug-free, heating pads for legs speed healing by increasing circulation and the flow of nutrients throughout the body. Heat therapy also soothes sore muscles and relieve cramps caused by strenuous exercise.
Whether you have high or low arches, arch supports can relieve pain and inflammation while supporting your foot over the long term. Finding the best arch support for shoes can be tough if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Comfortable padding, antibacterial fabric, and a low-profile design are all important features.