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Anterior knee pain advice

Have you started to experience pain and / or clicking in the front of your knee when...

  • Going up and down stairs?
  • Standing for a long time?
  • Walking?
  • Running?

If so you may be suffering from anterior knee pain. Read on for more information...

Anterior knee pain is a common problem and there are many reasons for it. The most commonly accepted hypothesis is related to abnormal patella (kneecap) tracking. This leads to altered alignment of the patella in relation to the femur (thigh bone) resulting in irritation of the tissues and pain. Most commonly the patella will move laterally.

Some of the commonly seen conditions that come under the umbrella of anterior knee pain include:

  • Chondromalacia patella (relates to degenerative changes of articular hyaline cartilage)
  • Patellar tendinopathy
  • Fat pad impingement
  • Patello-femoral instability
  • Bursitis
  • Osgood-Schlatter's disease.

The tracking of the patella is affected by a number of different factors to include weakness of the medial quadriceps muscle, tightness of the iliotibial band (band along the outside of the thigh) and the tissues just lateral to the patella, altered foot position particularly pronation and tightness of the hamstring and calf muscles. These factors can all contribute to alteration of patella bio-mechanics and result in the patella sitting incorrectly. This can occur over a long period of time or may occur as a result of knee surgery.

In the following picture you can see how the position of the kneecap can be affected by changes in lower limb alignment or position:


a) Poor alignment with the
knee moving inwards

b) Correct alignment

As part of our assessment at Sprint we will establish the specific location of your pain, the nature of aggravating activities, the history of the onset of the pain, and any associated clicking, giving way or swelling. We will then examine your knee and decide what your specific problem is and work out a treatment plan to address your specific problem. Our physiotherapy approach is then directed to:

  • Settle acute inflammation
  • Encourage correct healing of tissue
  • Restore elasticity and flexibility of healing tissue
  • Restore inherent strength of the tissue
  • Restore functional strength of the tissue
  • Progress towards training and return to specific event

This process may involve addressing extrinsic factors such as footwear, training programmes, training surface, nutrition, sprint activity and endurance activity in addition to intrinsic factors including biomechanical issues of the lower limb and pelvis.

To help us achieve results as quickly as possible we may use manual therapy, taping techniques, biofeedback machines to record muscle activity, video feedback on the treadmill and specific exercise work in the gym setting.

We believe the most important role in rehabilitation is yours and will give you specific stretches, control, balance and strengthening work tailored to your goals. This will guide you to move correctly and restore ideal function preventing recurrence of problems in the future.

For information see our lower limb stretches and lower limb strengthening exercises that we commonly use to manage anterior knee pain.



Please contact us to book an appointment or for more information on any of the services available at our clinic in Kensington.



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Areas covered

Our services cover the following locations (if your location is not listed please don't hesistate to get in touch and ask us if we can help you):

Kensington - W8 - W14 - SW7 - Notting Hill - W11 - W2 - W10 - Chelsea - SW10 - Knightsbridge SW1 - SW3 - Fulham - W6 - Hammersmith - W6 - W12 - Hyde Park and Holland Park, Paddington, Bayswater, Marylebone W1, W2


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Kensington Clinic
Sprint Physiotherapy
2 Drayson Mews
West London
W8 4LY
Paddington Clinic
In Motion Physiotherapy
Winston Churchill Wing
St Mary's Hospital
Winsland Mews
London
W2 1NY
Hammersmith Clinic
Hydrotherapy Department
Ground Floor, South Wing
Charing Cross Hospital
Fulham Palace Road
London
W6 8RF
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