In order to manage anterior knee pain you knee to KEEP exercising! Patellofemoral pain can be hard and you won’t get better over night. However some people do but in general it should take a minimum of 6 weeks before you will start to see changes.
Here are 5 tips to help with you knee pain that specifically target muscles that need to be worked in order to get better.
1) Fire Up the Gluts
Most patients we see, tend to have weak or inactive glutes. This causes all sorts of problems at the knee.
The primary movers of your legs are the muscles of your hips and thighs. When the muscles of your hips aren’t working properly, that means the muscles of your thighs have to pick up the slack.
1. Glute Bridges
2. Single-Leg Glute Bridges
You may also benefit from performing a hip flexor stretch prior to these warm ups, as it will release some of the tissue on the front of your hip and should allow you to take advantage of improved hip extension.
2. Work Your Glutes
The three best options for specific glute activation that simultaneously reduce stress on the front of the knee are weighted glute bridges, box squats, and dead lifts.
On all of these movements, it is important to focus on proper alignment of the knees. If your knees are constantly caving, even on a bridge, you’re missing out on activating the glute med, which is one of the most important muscles for stabilizing the knee during movement.
3. Learn to Land
Landing mechanics are a problem for a lot of people, particularly in untrained individuals who have recently started an intense exercise program. Learning to land softly and with control while running etc will make life a lot easier on the knees.
4. Turn Your Feet Out
The vastus medialis oblique (VMO) is one of the muscles of your quadriceps that is directly responsible for proper patellar motion. If your VMO is weak, your patella may get stuck or click as you move, which will cause pain.
A simple method of VMO strengthening is to turn your foot out. You can do this on leg raises, leg extensions, squats, or pretty much any movement that involves the quads. This will increase activation of the VMO.
5. Mobilize Your Adductors
Frequently, when you have weak glutes and weak hip abductors, you will also have tight adductors.
Tight adductors can cause all sorts of problems and may also prevent you from being able to perform some of the exercises outlined above. It’s hard to move your knees out when your muscles are constantly pulling them inward.
So, get on those adductors with a foam roller for a few minutes.