One of the most common symptoms that people complain about is knee pain, and while there are several reasons that can lead to knee pain, one of the most common reasons is that of the increasing and constant pressure on the knees, which includes the kneecaps (patella) as well.
When the tissue surrounding the kneecap begins to wear out (due to age and due to added pressure that is put on the knees) there is additional friction that takes place, and therefore, there is pain and discomfort, this condition is known as chondromalacia patella and it affects almost all individuals in the age group of 15-60. This condition requires that additional care be taken so that it does not rupture the knees and damage them further. For that purpose, there are several exercises that have been formulated―those which should be done and those that should be avoided. In the sections that follow, we shall be looking at some of these chondromalacia patella physical therapy exercises.
The chondromalacia patella symptoms include acute knee pain, tightness in the knees, grinding sound of the knees, and a general discomfort that makes certain activities difficult. To deal with these symptoms, it is important to administer certain specialized exercises so that the knee is strengthened and there is less discomfort and more movement. The first and foremost thing that needs to be done is to undertake the essential treatment which includes ice packs, heat packs, and over-the-counter painkillers. After the initial treatment methods have been taken care of, there is a need to bring into action certain exercises which will help to strengthen the affected knee to regain its lost vigor.
- Stand facing a wall and keep both feet firmly on the ground.
- Stretch the right leg at the back and bend the left leg.
- Extend both arms in the front and push the wall.
- You’ll feel a stretch in your calf muscles. Hold for 10-15 seconds and release.
- Do 5 repetitions. Repeat with the other leg.
- Use the support of a chair or a stool and place one leg, fully extended on it.
- Balance yourself well before slowly bending forward at the hips and holding the ankles of the extended leg with your hand.
- Do this till you feel a stretch in the calf.
- Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 5 times. Repeat the same with the other leg.
- Lie on your elbows so that you mimic a semi-crunch.
- Bend one leg and place the feet firmly against the ground while you keep the other one completely erect and straight.
- Now try and lift the complete foot off the ground without bending it.
- If you can manage that, lift it further to a 45 degree angle and hold for 2 seconds before gently bringing it down.
- You should not attempt to do this exercise if the knee bends while lifting.
- Repeat 10-15 times.
- Stand with your back and buttock stuck to a wall.
- Maintain a distance of 12 inches between your feet and 6 inches from the wall.
- Slowly bend at the knees (very gently, and not very intensely) and start to slide down the wall till you achieve a 45 degree flex.
- Stay in this position for 5 seconds and slide back up.
- Do this slowly, and stop if it aggravates the pain in any way or leads to any noises and cracking.
Exercises to Avoid
Along with doing the leg exercises mentioned above, it is extremely important that you do not pressurize your knee. That means that you should avoid all those workout routines that involve such exercises that place pressure on the knees. Here are some of those exercises.
- Cycling (if the seat is kept high)
- Step aerobic exercises
- Running and jogging
- Jumping jacks
If there is ever any severe knee pain, it is better to get it checked by your doctor so that they can check to see if there is chondromalacia patella and administer immediate treatment for the same.