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Runner's Knee - Vastus Medialis Triggers

Posted by Christopher Hamze on

Knee Pain - Vastus Medialis Trigger Points



Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner's Knee) is often associated with trigger points in the quadriceps muscles

Pain in the patella (kneecap), especially after sitting for a long time or running downhill, may result from incorrect movement of the patella over the femur or tight tendons.

The articular cartilage under the patella may become inflamed as well, leading to another condition called chondromalacia patellae which is found more commonly in women.

The angle formed between the two lines of pull of the quadriceps muscle and the patellar (tendon) ligament is known as the Q-angle.

If the patella moves out of its normal path, even slightly, it can cause irritation and pain.

Tight tendons also place pressure on the patella causing inflammation.

Cause of Injury

Incorrect running form or improper shoes. Weak or tight quadriceps. Chronic patella dislocations.

Trigger Points

Common knee injuries including PFPS are often associated with trigger points in the gluteus minimus, medius, maximus, quadriceps and sartorius muscles.

Commonly overlooked are trigger points in popliteus and the patellar ligament.

Signs and Symptoms

Pain on and under the patella which worsens after sitting for extended periods or walking down stairs.

Clicking or grinding may be felt when flexing the knee. Dull, aching pain in the centre of the knee.

Complications if Left Unattended

The inflammation from this condition if left unattended can worsen and cause more permanent damage to the surrounding structures.

If the tendon becomes inflamed it could eventually rupture. The cartilage under the patella may also become inflamed.

Immediate Treatment

Rest and reducing exercise intensity and duration. Ice and anti-inflammatory medication.

Rehabilitation and Prevention

Rehabilitation starts with restoring the strength and flexibility of the quadriceps.

When returning to activity after pain has subsided, gradual increases in intensity, limiting repetitive stresses on the knee and proper warm-up techniques will ensure that the pain does not return.

Strong, flexible quadriceps and hamstrings and avoiding overuse will help prevent patellofemoral pain syndrome.

A good warm- up before training will also help.

Long-Term Prognosis

With complete treatment there are seldom any long-lasting effects. If the condition does not respond to treatment surgical intervention may be necessary.



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