Extreme knee pain


I am a dancer, I have been dancing for about 8 years and before that I Figure Skated for 4 years. Now I started having knee troubles then. I had fallen on the ice so much with my left knee that the lower outside of the knee had become numb my coaches just said it had messed up the nerve endings and that was all I thought of it. I stopped skating and started dancing and about 2 years ago I was getting pain on the top part of my knee cap, My dance teacher said it was because I was "gripping" with my quad and gave me some strengthening exercises, the pain stopped. Now I am dancing professionally and harder then ever and I am in more pain then ever, about 6 months ago the pain came back and is effecting my day to day life...walking up stairs,running,kneeling,sleeping its so painful, not to mention dancing which is my life. The pain is on the top and wraps around the sides to the bottom. My knees have always popped and now it the only thing that reliefs the pain. they swell after dance so I ice them, some say I need a MRI but as we all know dancers don't have insurance. I need help please!!! I hope its not Patella Femoral Syndrome I don't want to stop dancing. Allyce~

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Nov 11, 2009
knee pain
by: Bart - SII

From what you describe, it does sound like it could be patella femoral syndrome. The best course of treatment would be to see a doctor for a definitive diagnosis. An MRI may not be required if you don't present clinical signs of internal derangement, or damage to the meniscus or ligaments.

I have worked with many dancers, and PFS is not an uncommon occurrence. What I have found to help is a lot of focused work on the lower abdominals and pelvic stabilizers, as well as improving hip range of motion. Many dancers have very mobile lumbar spines, and so they lose some of the ability to control the pelvis, since the lumbar spine will move so freely. Also, because of the huge amount of flexibility in the hamstrings, these muscles often become unbalanced with the hip flexors, and that throws the system off, causing undue stress at the knee.

I have seen lots and lots of dancers quads, and I can tell you that quad strength usually isn't the cause of PFS - as is often the case with most PFS. You may benefit from Patella Femoral Solutions, which focuses on restoring balance to the body through mobility, flexibility, and targeted neuromuscular control strengthening. I would also strongly recommend seeing a doctor.


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