Anterior Knee Pain
Anterior is just a fancy way of saying the front of your knee, specifically, around the area of the kneecap or patella. Inappropriate tracking of our patella can cause pain in the front of our knee and the improper tracking can be caused by varying reasons, including: weak thigh muscles, tendons/ligaments/muscle tightness, repetitive stress to the knee, and issues with joint alignment within the knee.
Some key signs that you may have faulty patellar (kneecap) tracking: pain in the front of knee, especially with going down the stairs, squatting, or sitting for extended amounts of time, and possibly a feeling of popping or catching in the patella when bending or straightening the leg.
Lateral Knee Pain
Pain located on the lateral, or the outside, of the knee, is commonly seen in runners and involves the tendon of the iliotibial band (ITB) becoming irritated. Pain is often experienced during running (or other repetitive activities that involve knee bending) and worsens if the activity is continued. Some common causes include: weak hip/gluteal muscles, an increase in mileage training, and/or poor lower extremity mechanics or alignment.
Medial Knee Pain
This pain is felt on the “inside” edge of the knee. Underlying causes could include, however not limited to, an injury to the MCL (the ligament on the inside of the knee), or irritation to the meniscus.
The MCL is a ligament that runs up the inside edge of the knee and assists in stabilization of the knee. Injury to the MCL can occur when there is a force on the outside of the knee, forcing a stretch and possible tear to the MCL. Depending on the level of MCL injury will determine symptoms and complaints.
The meniscus distributes force in the knee joint as we walk and can be injured during activity if a sudden twist has occurred. The meniscus also deteriorates with age and becomes weak and thin over time, increasing the risk of tear. Pain can present as stiffness and swelling, a sensation of catching or locking within the knee, or inability to move the knee through its full range.
If you are having pain or limitation of the knee we would love to evaluate your knee to find out the root cause and help you get the outcomes you want. We are here to help you get back to walking, running, hiking, or any other activity you love.
Call, text, or email today!
Physical Therapy Doctoral Candidate at The University of St. Augustine
Dr. Dalin Hansen, PT, DPT
Passionate practitioner dedicated to empowering others to take control of their health.