Pain in and around the knee is a common occurrence but the causes can be broad and varied. Chondromalacia patella, sometimes known as a runner’s knee, is one potential cause of knee pain. It is characterized by pain to the front of the knee over and around the patella, or knee cap. It may increase with prolonged sitting with knees bent such as while watching a movie. It may also increase with running and other sports that apply pressure to the knee.
Chondromalacia might sound like a mouthful but very accurately describes the condition itself. The word is derived from the word chondros, meaning cartilage, and malakia, meaning softening, hence the softening and erosion of the cartilage on the kneecap is the source of pain in this condition. As the cartilage breaks down the kneecap no longer glides as easily over the knee and may even rub against the opposing joint surface. This can result in painful irritation and irregular movement of the kneecap overtop of the femur.
Treatment of chondromalacia patella often includes trying to reduce inflammation which may be done through rest and ice. If there is a specific cause of the condition, such as running, it should also be addressed with your clinician. This could include analyzing gait, correcting muscle imbalances, using orthotics or different types of shoes, and adjusting any misalignments in the joint.
If you are having knee pain and think you may have chondromalacia it is best to see a chiropractor or physio to have it evaluated. This way an individualized treatment and management plan that addresses your needs and concerns can be created.
*This blog is not intended to officially establish a physician-patient relationship, to replace the services of a trained physician, naturopathic doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.