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Why Does My Kneecap Hurt?

Does it hurt when you climb the stairs, run, jump, squat or even when you’re just sitting for a long time (e.g. after a few hours flight or after watching a 2-hour movie)?

Those are the common symptoms of patellofemoral pain syndrome where there’s a dull or disturbing pain in front of the knee. The pain can get worse depending on the intensity of activity (running fast, trying to jump high or climbing a steep stair). Even prolonged sitting can cause pain to be felt because of the bending of our knees.

Why does my kneecap hurt?

Common causes of patellofemoral pain syndrome include overuse and patellar malalignment. For instance, vigorous physical activities can put sudden and intense stress to our knees. Aside from the intensity, the frequency of such physical activities can put a huge burden as well. Other factors such as an uneven playing surface or terrain and improper footwear can also contribute to the knee stress and pain.

Patellar malalignment is also a common cause wherein the kneecap is shifted out of the trochlear groove (the designated area where the patella moves back and forth as you bend and straighten your knee). This can irritate the surrounding soft tissues and therefore cause the knee pain. The malalignment can result from muscular imbalances and weaknesses.

It’s important to get an accurate and thorough assessment if you want to figure out the real cause. Whether it’s just a dull pain or an excruciating experience, a thorough assessment after applying the RICE first aid (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) can prevent the problem from getting worse and increase your chances of getting into running again as soon as possible.

The pain might only be dull but it can get worse through continued overuse and even a single awkward movement. It’s crucial here to take it slow and refrain from performing intense physical activities. Pushing it further would be counterproductive this time because if a severe knee injury occurs, you would be forced to refrain from running for months.

You can contact our team of qualified physiotherapists for such concerns and if you require a professional service. With a combined 70+ years experience and continuously keeping up with the latest research and practices in physiotherapy, you can be sure of an accurate assessment and professional treatment. Call our Wellers Hill and Woolloongabba Physiotherapy today!