Are you trying to figure out what is causing the pain on the outside of your knee, like Melinda?
Melinda called me worried about knee problems that she'd been suffering with for months. Melinda’s left knee would ache when she sat longer than 30 minutes. Then when she stood up to stop the discomfort would limp for 3 or 4 steps before she could walk normally. She said her knee just didn’t feel right when she first stood up but it would work itself out after a few steps.
She called me because she started to have difficulty going up stairs and was having to walk down the stairs sideways. Not being able to go up and down the stairs was interfering with her ability to do house work. She was willing to deal with not sitting or standing for long periods of time. However, now she couldn’t do her normal house work without help from her husband and kids. This was causing a lot of stress and resentment in her family.
There’s a brace for basically every body part and injury so they must work, right?
In fact, there’s a specific knee brace for patellofemoral syndrome, it helps by preventing your kneecap from leaving its track.
Before we talk about whether the brace helps patellofemoral syndrome let’s talk about the symptoms of patellofemoral syndrome.
An achy pain on the outside or underneath the kneecap, in addition to, popping or clicking in the knee while walking, running, standing up and sitting down or squatting. Feeling as if you have to bend and straighten your leg to warm up after sitting for longer than 30 minutes.
This is not an exhaustive list but those are the common complaints from people with patellofemoral syndrome.
If you’ve had knee pain while you run, I bet you’ve considered running with a brace.
I frequently get asked, “Should I run with a knee brace?” “What if I wrapped my knee up really tight could I run?” “Which brace is a good one?”
Rebecca had the same question when I met her. She’d been running with a knee brace for several weeks but found it very concerning that her knee STILL hurt while she was running. She thought she’d bought the wrong type of knee brace.
During the holidays I’m frequently asked health and fitness questions..which I love!
The questions I got this year were mainly about non-invasive knee pain remedies since several of my cousins have started to have knee pain. We’ve all hit that phase of life when your favorite music is ”old” which almost hurts as much as your knees ache. :)
One cousin, in particular, told me her knees ache when she sits for long periods of time making her drive to and from work uncomfortable. For her the pain is not intense, just annoying. She could simply take aspirin to ibuprofen to get rid of the pain BUT she is worried about the effects of taking even over the counter medication daily. She tried a knee brace but that just made her hot and kept falling down her leg. She debated going to her primary care to find out what’s wrong. She didn’t go because she figured they would just prescribe pain killers, injections or surgery, none of which she wanted.
You started a new exercise program or maybe just a new exercise, push yourself hard, then the next day something doesn’t feel pain when you lift your leg. Now you are left thinking “Did hurt myself?” “Does a strained muscle hurt to touch?” “What do I do now?”...
These are questions my family and friends ask me. This is what I tell them.
Yes a strained muscle hurts to touch. BUT that doesn’t mean you need to run to your primary care or a surgeon for medications, MRIs, XRays, injections or surgery.
Let’s take a small step back and look at what it means to have a strained muscle?
I was shopping at the mall I needed to sit down for a few minutes to feed the kids before going to the car. We sat at one of those little sitting areas in the mall. Naturally, there were other people sitting in that same area. One lady in particular was sitting in a chair rubbing her knees like she wanted to have a genie come out of them. After a few minutes the kids were settled and eating a snack but this lady is still rubbing her knees. She looked to be in her early 40s and average health so I couldn’t resist asking if she was okay.
I hear all the time from people that their knees are “bad”. In fact, I had a patient tell me that just last week. She even had knee replacement surgery and was still complaining about her knee pain. I started to ask her more about what on her knees hurt, when her knees hurt, and then I asked questions about her daily life and what activities she was able to do and what she was missing out on.
She was able to point where the pain was, she told me it was the same pain from before her surgery and it never went away. “I wish I never had the surgery.” She isn’t able to shop for long periods of time because standing and walking increase her pain, She is cautious of the type of seats she sits on because when they are to low she has difficulty getting up from them. She isn’t able to participate in any of the group fitness classes she wants because of her “bad knee”.
Most people that come to see me are looking for answers about a pain that is stopping them from their favorite activities. Many people are putting off seeing a Physical Therapist or another medical professional because they are afraid of being told they will need a surgery, or they will simply be given medication then dismissed, or they will be told the pain is just from being old and nothing can resolve the discomfort.
Are you worried that wearing amazing fashionable high heels will cause foot pain? knee pain? hip pain? or lower back pain?
Did your mom tell you that if you wear heels you will get bunions?
Dr. Molly discusses how wearing high heels changes the way you stand and walk. She will give you several tips on how to manage these changes to help reduce the stress on your body that is caused by wearing heels.
Dr. Molly Shares her technique for rolling her ITB and more in the video below.
WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald