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.
What caused your patellofemoral syndrome?
Under normal circumstances your kneecap has its own “track” on your leg that it moves through when your leg bends and straightens. When the kneecap is pulled off its track, typically to the outside, it causes pain and/or popping.
Without a physical exam it’s hard to say specifically what caused your patellofemoral syndrome. Generally, one muscle is stronger than another causing an uneven pull on your kneecap. Or the muscles are tightening in the wrong order causing an uneven pull on your kneecap.
What does tightening in the wrong order mean?
Think about when you’re getting into your vehicle at the grocery story. First you load the car with the groceries. Second, you get into your car. Finally, you start your car. However, due to the Houston heat, you might change that order to: First, start your car, then load it up, finally get into the car.
Unfortunately, if our muscles start to tighten in a different order or get weak they can’t simply go back to the original way without help.
This is why a general strengthening program doesn't work for patellofemoral syndrome either. The muscles don’t have to be “weak” they could simply be working in the wrong order.
General stretching programs don't work either because even if a muscle needs to be stretched; it's important to stretch the right muscle to preserve the stability of your knee.
If the popping is driving you crazy. Then try a brace. If the popping or the pain stops while the brace is on that's great.
However, my strong suggestion to you would be seek out the root cause of the popping and pain while the brace helps. The brace will not fix the problem, much like a bandaid it simply will cover up the injury.
If you would like to fix the root cause of your patellofemoral syndrome stopping it from returning talk to Dr. Molly.
Or pick the best option for you 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