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Physiotherapy for anterior knee pain

There are so many causes of knee pain that it is difficult to cover in one article which is why in this article we will focus only on anterior knee pain, or knee pain in the front or centre of the knee joint. This type of pain is usually caused by one the following conditions:

  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

  • Chondromalacia Patellae

  • Osgood Schlatters Disease

  • Sinding Larson Johansson Syndrome

  • Plica Synovitis Syndrome

  • Knee Bursitis/Hoffas Disease

  • Articular Cartilage Injury

  • Osteochondritis Dessicans

  • Patellofemoral Instability/Dislocation

  • Patellar Stress Fracture

  • Patellar Tendinitis

  • Patellofemoral Osteoarthritis

  • Prepatellar bursitis

  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome

  • Bone Tumors

  • Referring symptoms from hip joint or saphenous nerve


  1. Your physiotherapist will conduct a thorough assessment of your symptoms, aetiology, medical and injury history and contributing factors.

  2. The physio will assess the lower limb alignment as regards patellar alignment and positioning, foot positioning and genu (knee) angle.

  3. The physio will look at musculature of lower limb for imbalance of VM/VL (quadriceps), hypertrophy of VMO (medial quadriceps) or tension in any of the structures affecting the knee such as Iliotibial Band.

  4. Knee function will be assessed during dynamic movements such as sit-stand or squatting. In particular we will look at movements which relate to your personal activity/function.

The physio will then make a diagnosis and determine the root cause of the problem if different from the main diagnosis. Treatment will consist of the necessary Manual Therapy, Release, Strengthening exercises and stretches swell as pain relief therapy such as cupping, dry needling or electrotherapy as indicated. There may be recommendations for a change footwear or orthotics and a home exercise programme of stretching and strengthening to correct any muscle imbalances or tightnesses. Research has shown that the level of patient compliance in these cases is directly proportionate to the results. Your Perfect Balance physiotherapist will impart her directions and treat your knee during sessions but your outcome will be dependent on your compliance to your home exercise programme. In these types of cases determination is the key to positive results. Remember:“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently”.

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