Knee pain sucks!
It puts a damper on almost any situation, getting out of bed is hard, walking downstairs is hard, and then you’re still expected to get a workout in!
Pain in the front of the knee is especially average!
This is called anterior knee pain or more commonly known as patellofemoral pain.
Patellofemoral pain more specifically is pain or discomfort between the patella (your knee cap) and femur (your thigh bone).
And it’s pretty common, especially in teenagers, not only in that period of life awkward for all the obvious reasons, puberty.
But the rapid growth can cause all sorts of growth issues and patellofemoral pain is one of them.
But I’m going to assume you haven’t come here because of adolescent anterior knee pain.
And while an accurate diagnosis might be needed, there is a combination of factors that can cause knee pain, and some simple measures you can take to resolve it.
Pain in the front of your knee joint is no fun so let’s have a look at some common causes of knee pain.
The best exercises you want to be doing to relieve this pain are going to be a combination of strengthening exercises and stretching exercises for the quadriceps muscles (front thigh muscles) and the hamstring muscles (back thigh muscles).
Muscle weakness is a big cause so getting yourself a good exercise program is going to go a long way towards solving these issues.
But first, you need to address whether overuse might be the problem, have you been doing a lot of sports activities like running, jumping, or twisting lately?
Maybe your knee is just telling you it needs a rest.
The quadriceps tendon is another spot you might feel discomfort, which can be caused by tight quads so it pays to regularly stretch the front of the thigh.
Just a gentle stretch is fine you shouldn’t be stretching to the point of pain.
Another being cause is being overweight.
Carrying too much extra weight can cause a tremendous amount of pressure on your joints and that’s where we can kill two birds with one stone.
By getting back into shape and strengthening your core and the muscles in your thigh you are going to lower the pain levels and burn fat at the same time.
I’ve mentioned in other articles just how important training your legs are for weight loss.
Your legs have some big muscle groups in them and require a lot more calories to move.
So getting a decent leg workout a few times a week is going to help you lose the weight that could be contributing to your knee pain as well as building up strength in your leg which is also going to give you a significant improvement.
In terms of exercises to try I would begin with bodyweight squats, but only go down as far as you can before the knee starts to hurt.
You can also do some light deadlifts to strengthen your hamstrings.
But stretching your quads and hamstrings is going to go a long way in relieving the pressure in the front of your knee.
Always train the front and the back of your leg to avoid muscle imbalance.
Below I’ve added a video I posted to youtube recently showing you how easy it easy to train your leg’s with just a set of resistance bands.
What Is The Most Common Cause Of Anterior Knee Pain?
The most common causes of anterior knee pain are.
- Weakness in your glutes and the front of your thigh.
- Tightness in the back of your thigh.
- Being overweight.
- Runner’s knee or jumper’s knee.
To address muscle weakness is simple.
You need to strengthen the important muscles around not only the front of the knee joint but the back also.
So keep to body weight exercises, to begin with, and avoid deep squatting.
I would also recommend sitting back into a squat more than trying to squat over your knee.
You don’t need to squat super deep to improve weak quadriceps.
Squatting to a box or a bench will be fine, to begin with, and definitely avoid heavy loads.
Tightness in the hamstring is another cause.
And this is a reflection of the complex anatomy of the knee joint.
There really is a lot going on in your knee.
So just doing regular toe touches is a great way to loosen up a tight hamstring.
Running in old shoes is not going to help sore knees.
The amount of people I’ve helped with sore knees by encouraging them to buy a new pair of shoes, is actually amazing.
The impact on your knees when running and jumping is a lot higher than you think.
So maybe it’s time to replace your running shoes.
If they’re more than a year old, chances are they are no longer the shock absorbers they used to be.
Losing weight is also going to go a long way towards solving your knee problems.
But if you don’t know where to start then download a FREE copy of my EBook.
Train wherever the f*ck you want.
You’ll see how with a resistance band you can get a great workout anywhere. I give a list of exercises you can do,
I break down training splits.
And I even give you a sample program to try!
How Do You Fix Anterior Knee Pain?
If the above steps haven’t helped then maybe it’s time to go see your health care provider.
There may be more going on in the underside of the kneecap.
Exercise therapy with a physical therapist might be what’s needed.
I would still go through the checklist of issues I’ve mentioned.
But if reducing physical activity or some gentle knee exercises don’t seem to be working then it’s time to see a doctor.
Safe to say it’s probably not the best idea to self-diagnose if the problems persist.
I’ll pop a link here as well to an article I wrote recently on how to get your food right.
I give you all my advice on how to eat what you want on the weekends and still lose weight. So check it before you go.