Exercises are the key element of any treatment for anterior knee pain or patellofemoral pain. Up to 95% of patients improve with correctly performed rehabilitation. Keep in mind that if the thigh muscles are strong, the patella will move within the trochlea with less pressure. Unfortunately, it is quite usual to see many patients perform these exercises the wrong way in terms of method, frequency and intensity. This is usually because of a lack of detailed medical information that leads to doing recovery exercises incorrectly. Thus, it does not yield any improvement and sometimes even aggravates the problem. This generates disappointment that leads patients to dropping the routine.
Exercises should be done at least 4 times a week with maximum intensity for about 30 minutes per session. There are 4 essential types of exercises to execute, which have scientifically proven their effectiveness:
- Isometric quadriceps
- Hip adductors and rotators
- Muscle stretchings
- Core strengthening (Not included in the videos)
Isometric quadriceps exercises
- It can be done with or without weight on the ankle (an anklet weighing 1 to 4 kilos)
- Extend the knee as much as possible.
- Flex the foot upward.
- Bend the other knee about 45 degrees.
- Raise the entire limb at normal speed until 45º and stay in this position 5-6 seconds.
- Then slowly lower the limb.
- Immediately after lowering it to the starting position, continue with another lift.
- The first few times it is performed, do about 30 repetitions per exercise. Then, about 15 repetitions per set and between 3-5 sets should ideally be done.
- The last repetition done should be the last one possible to perform with maximum effort. If you notice that you are able to go on performing more reps, then continue till you drop, but put on more weight or increase the weight on the ankle in the subsequent sets.
Hip adductors and rotators exercises
For proper muscle balance of the knee, it is important to work the adductors and the external hip rotators as in the following video:
Hamstring muscle stretching
It is essential to perform muscle stretches before, but especially after strength training. You must dedicate at least 15 minutes to doing these stretches, which must be done by staying in a stretched position for 20 to 30 seconds so that the muscle fibers get used to the new position. No more than 30 seconds rest between one stretch and another. The most important stretching routines is of the hamstrings.
The core is the center of gravity of the body, it acts as a link between the lower train and the upper body. Therefore, it is key to developing balance, stability and coordination, improves breathing and reduces the risk of injuries. In general, it improves the mechanics of the knee joint and other areas and joints of the body.