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Chronic knee pain on lateral movements

Jan 10th, 2014

CLAY COWAN asked The Guru for the following Physiotherapy Advice:

HI, I USE TO RUN AND PLAY BASKETBALL. I’M 59 AND NOW MY KNEE HURT ALL THE TIME. EX-RAYS WERE NEGATIVE. LATERAL MOVEMENT IS A PROBLEM, SEEM TO HAVE KNOW STRENGHT THERE. WHAT CAN I DO TO STRENGHTEN AND EASY THE PAIN. IT IS IN THE FRONT OF BOTH LEGS, JUST ABOVE AND BELOW THE KNEE CAPS. GETS WORST ON LONG DRIVES. THANKS.

The Guru Responded:

Hi Clay
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Great that the XR was normal. MRI will tell you a little more about the soft tissue, and the likely cause of the problem.
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Its sounds as if it’s your kneecap which is causing the pain. Your patella needs to “track” on the front of your thigh bone, when you bend and straighten your knee – get this in the right position, and you’ve no problems. When it’s off track (twisting, lateral movements) it becomes painful.
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You need to get better control of your gluts (not strength). So things like pain free squats and lunges are on the cards. Feel the muscle work by having great alignment and symmetry BUT no pain. Also improve your balance standing on 1 leg.
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Driving is also pretty classic. Your kneecap sits in the wrong position for a while, increasing the load on the bone below it – causing pain. Pilates might be a great option for you.
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Good Luck

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