Knee pain (part 3) by Charles Alexander, DPT, PT
by jessicag, April 19, 2019
My hips can make my knee hurt?
Another possible contribution to PFJ is weakness or tightness of the hip. Common inequalities of tight and weak muscles include: weakness of the quadriceps, tightness in the lateral hip, and tightness in the quadriceps/hamstring/iliotibial band. Weak quadriceps can result in the kneecap not following the intended path within the patellofemoral joint. For this reason the knee cap is not traveling up enough and gets pushed back into the knee joint. Tightness in the lateral hip can also result in the kneecap traveling outside the intended path of the joint and increase the pressure behind the kneecap. Having tightness or muscular imbalances around the knee can also result in increased pressures behind the knee with each individual being different and therefore needing to be properly assessed. Adding some key stretches or exercises to your workout routine can help aid in reducing this cause of PFJ pain.
Ow that hurts, ow that hurts, ow that hurts…
The final contribution to knee pain with this disorder is repetitive movement dysfunction. Common movement dysfunction can include hip adduction, hip internal rotation, or pelvic drop. Pelvic drop is often called relative adduction and internal rotation. Repetitive movement dysfunctions have become popular in recent research and articles due to the fact it is based on movement science. Physical therapist will look for these movement defaults with activities designed to agitate a patient in order to correct them. The movement dysfunctions are most notable with the previous activities mentioned of going up and down stairs, doing squats, doing lunges, or bicycling. With hip adduction and internal rotation the knee will drift toward the belly button. To have a relative hip adduction or internal rotation occur you may not see the knee fall in, but most individuals will be able to notice that the hip itself will drop. Once again, being able to identify the cause of the pain is one of the first steps to finding relief. The next step is finding ways to correct the movement to prevent continued discomfort.
Stay tuned for more information!