Also known as “runner’s knee”, chondromalacia patella is the wear-and -tear of the cartilage of the back of the kneecap caused by abnormal motion of the kneecap. Symptoms include swelling and inflammation of the knee and acute pain radiating from the top of the kneecap. Stiffness can occur after prolonged sitting, and pain can be intense when going up or down stairs.
There are three main causes of runner’s knee:
- Weak or malfunctioning quadriceps muscles above the knee.
- Faulty biomechanics of the foot and lower leg, and
- A dysfunctional patellar tendon below the knee.
Short term treatments of regular icing and ultrasound/ laser may help to reduce the discomfort, however, other remedies are needed to prevent further problems. A program of stretching and strengthening (especially the quadriceps muscles) can be prescribed. If a biomechanical fault is to blame, then your Chiropodist/ Podiatrist will prescribe you orthotics and a well fitting pair of shoes. Also, a person’s exercise habits should be reviewed and possibly adjusted: hill running, banked tracks, and uneven surfaces may have been contributors.