Patella Femoral Syndrome Rehab: Improving Strength Patella femoral syndrome
a complicated task. There are many factors that can cause anterior knee
pain. The key to treating this injury is finding out what is causing
it, and then fixing those problems.
Muscular weakness and mobility issues are the
two most treatable causes of patella femoral syndrome. It varies for
every person, but I have never seen a patient with anterior knee pain
that did not have some type of strength or mobility deficit. Rehab can
be effective if it is approached in the right way. Too much emphasis is
often placed on strengthening the quadriceps, when these muscles have
little effect on the overall problem.
The Train and
I use the analogy of a train
sitting on the track with my patients. Think of the patella as the
train, and the femur as the track. Basically, a train must go wherever
the track goes. It cannot decide to change directions, or go another
way because it must stay on the track.
is just like a train. It does not get to choose its own route, or
change directions. It must go where the femur goes. If you want to
change where the patella goes, you have to change where the femur goes.
muscles control where the femur goes?
of the hips, especially the lateral or outside muscles.
problem with mal-alignment or poor tracking of the patella is adduction
and internal rotation of the femur. When the femur adducts, or moves
towards the middle of the body, it forces the patella towards the
outside. Combine this with internal rotation, and the patella is now
sitting on the outside of the femur, and the stresses are increased.
you can effectively control the femur, you will have less knee pain at
the patella. The key is to make sure that any exercises that you
perform during your patella femoral rehab adequately
strengthen the lateral hip muscles.
Traditional pfs rehab programs focus on strengthening of the VMO. Unfortunately, this usually isn't successful...
Why VMO Strengthening Doesn't Help With PFS
are a good exercise for
patella femoral syndrome rehab, but only if you focus on your knee
and not on how deep you can lunge. Mini or half lunges performed
correctly should not cause pain, and can work to strengthen your hip
muscles as well as your quadriceps and hamstrings.
Elastic band walks
are another great exercise for hip strengthening, and I use them with all of my patients suffering from patella
your hips to work are also excellent exercises for patella femoral
syndrome rehab. One of my favorites is the balance with sideways reach.
forces all of your hip muscles to control the leg and to keep you
balanced as you reach.
Other activities that will
help to improve your hip strength involve the lower
. Exercises using a foam roller
, or fitness ball
to strengthen your
lower abs can help reduce your knee pain too.
A Complete Program for PFS
Strengthening of the hips is the most important part of any patella femoral syndrome exercise program. Without it, you will
likely see little improvement in your knee pain, and may end up resorting to surgical intervention.
For a complete program to treat patella femoral syndrome, you not only need strengthening, but mobility and balance
exercises as well. I offer all of these in a comprehensive patella femoral rehabilitation program called
Patella Femoral Solutions.
If you are suffering from knee pain, this is the program for you. It will walk you step by step through the BEST exercises
to treat your knee pain. Imagine a life without pain when you play sports, walk up the stairs, or stand for too long. It is possible.
you have suffered from patella femoral syndrome, and have been to
physical therapy with no results, ask yourself if your exercises
focused on these things. If they didn't, then you owe it to yourself to
try it again. It could mean avoiding unnecessary surgery...and even
better, it could mean a pain free knee in the future.
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