Causes of Kneecap pain
In many cases, patellofemoral pain is caused by vigorous physical activities that put repeated stress on the knee —such as jogging, squatting, and climbing stairs. It can also be caused by a sudden change in physical activity. This change can be in the frequency of activity—such as increasing the number of days you exercise each week. It can also be in the duration or intensity of activity—such as running longer distances.
Other factors that may contribute to patellofemoral pain include:
- Use of improper sports training techniques or equipment
- Changes in footwear or playing surface
Treatments of Kneecap pain
Treatment of these various kneecap conditions depends on the diagnosis, however there are some general guidelines that can be followed.
Resting the injured knee to allow time for inflammation to subside is very important. Cross-training will allow you to keep in shape. When you do return to activity, do so gradually.
- Ice application
Apply ice to the knee to reduce inflammation in the knee. Ensure there is a cloth barrier between the ice pack and the skin, and do not ice the injury for more than 15 minutes.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen) may help with inflammation and will also help alleviate some of the pain associated with patella conditions.
- Kneecap stabilization
When the problem with the kneecap is an issue with dislocation or instability, there are several surgical options to stabilize the kneecap.
- Physical therapy
Physical therapy is very important to balance the strength of the muscles around the knee joint. Most importantly, the quad and hamstring muscle groups should be flexible and balanced.
- Arthroscopic surgery
While surgery is seldom needed because of a kneecap problem, arthroscopy is a treatment option if the problem is not getting any better with conservative treatment.
- Patellar resurfacing
There are surgical options to replace the kneecap. Much like people have a full knee replacement, just the kneecap portion of the joint can be replaced.