Brendan Egan and David Thwaites recently attended a professional development course on patellofemoral (knee) pain, run by the La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre. Here’s a brief summary.
Knee pain is a very common occurrence in children and adolescents, with recent studies putting the number of children aged 15-19 having knee pain at 33%. Within these studies they investigated these children further and found that 7% of the entire group had patellofemoral pain (PFJP). The onset of the symptoms though was generally between 10-14 years. PFJP is more common in girls than boys and generally occurs in children who are very active with their sporting interests.
Strength training is often seen as a core component of any rehab for PFJP. However a group of researchers in Denmark also found the use of education regarding the child’s activity loads, and activity modification if required, is very important to the child’s recovery. The combination of education and strength training was more beneficial than education alone.
Within this study the researchers also reviewed the amount of times/week the adolescent completed their exercises, and noted that the adolescents who completed 4 or more sessions/week were more likely to have a good result than if they did 3 or less.
In addition to education and strength training, the use of orthotics for short periods of time has also been shown to assist in pain reduction, particularly in the short term. Off the shelf types can be used and so custom-made orthoses are not necessarily required. Your Physiotherapist can advise you on the most appropriate orthoses for your situation.
Your Physiotherapist can also demonstrate a specialised taping technique that is also able to reduce pain, whilst allowing you to commence appropriate strength training.
To learn more about this topic please speak to one of our physiotherapists, who will be pleased to help.