Does your Child or Grandchild have Knee Pain?
Knee pain often starts at the beginning of the new sporting season, where there is a relative increase in activity levels, putting more stress on joints and muscles that are not accustomed to the extra jumping, running or kicking. Sports that have a high incidence of knee pain that is not direct trauma are basketball, AFL, netball and gymnastics. The most common cause of knee pain in the growing athlete is Patellofemoral Pain.
What is patellofemoral pain?
This is pain coming from the knee cap (patella) and arises when the patella is not moving or working correctly when you bend your knee, especially under bodyweight. Often the patella is sitting incorrectly in the front of the knee, which increases pressure on the under-side of it. Pain can also arise from the supporting tissue around the patella.
Sometimes there is swelling in the front of the knee. If the hip is weak or you have a particular foot shape, this makes things worse.
How do I know if my Child or Grandchild has Patellofemoral Pain?
They will usually report a vague kind of pain in the front of the knee that starts gradually. It is often aggravated by squatting, running or jumping. There can be some swelling around or (more commonly) under the patella. This problem does not usually stop the young athlete from playing sport, but it will often slow them down or limit how
long they can be on the court or field for.
Can Physiotherapy help me?
Patellofemoral pain is very treatable and physiotherapy should be the first choice for anyone with patellofemoral pain. Taping is often used initially to unload the knee, plus clear advice about what level of training and/or games the young athlete can manage. Strengthening of key muscles in the hip and knee is a common part of treatment, and it is important to look at the whole leg (including the foot) for any deficits that may be contributing to the knee. Just like a car, when all parts work together well and we get things “running smoothly”, the pain usually goes away.
What to Do Next:
If your youngster is complaining of knee pain during or after their sport, it is important you find some help for them as soon as possible. To book in with one of our highly skilled physio’s, simply call Mary or at our practice on 6056 6616 and find a day and time that works for you to bring in your child or grandchild and get some expert help.