Have you started noticing new body aches which appear seemingly without explanation?
Over the past several weeks, many people have been experiencing new or increased pain due to drastic changes in their activity level and type. Some have been sitting more at modified workstations at home, working hard in the yard, or even starting up a new exercise program. These drastic changes without proper preparation and self-care can lead to aches and pains all over your body.
One common area where you may be experiencing pain is at the knee. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) is characterized by pain at the front of the knee and will often get worse with climbing stairs or hills, or after sitting for a prolonged period of time. PFPS is often due to what we call ‘muscle imbalance’ -- when some muscles are too tight and others are too weak -- and may present in one or both knees.
To avoid PFPS, be sure to gradually increase exercise programs at ~ 10% per week, take regular walking breaks during the work day, and stretch out after physical activity. Areas to stretch include quadriceps, hamstrings, and the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus). You can even bust out your foam roller and roll away if you have one!
A simple quad stretch can make a huge difference! Just wrap your bathrobe tie around your foot and hold for 30 seconds before repeating 3 times. This photo example is from MedBridge.
Physical therapy has been shown as an effective treatment for PFPS. Remember, each person’s case is unique and a program should be tailored specifically to YOU and your goals!
Stay well, don’t forget to stretch, and check out the links below if you would like to read more about PFPS. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at BHPT. We’re here for you.