How is anterior knee pain treated?
Treatment for knee pain depends on the specific problem causing the pain. Fortunately, anterior knee pain, or runner's knee, rarely requires surgery and usually heals in time.
Ice, rest and physical therapy are the best treatments for patients with pain behind the kneecap. Addressing training and exercise errors is also important.
- Ice - Icing the knee will relieve swelling and inflammation under the kneecap. Ice can be applied a few times each day for no longer than 20 minutes at a time.
- Rest or activity modification - Your child should modify or stop doing the activities that make his or her knee hurt. If he or she continues to perform activities that cause knee pain, the inflammation cycle continues.
- Rehabilitation - Young athletes usually need to rehabilitate their knees to regain full range of motion, strength and endurance. Physical therapy can be used to change the abnormal tracking of the kneecap. This includes strengthening the core and hip muscles, as well as working on quadriceps and hamstring muscle flexibility and strength.
Most young athletes will have to change their training routine or learn proper exercise techniques to correct problems causing knee pain. They may also benefit from using a knee brace during activities.
Anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, can also help control pain and inflammation. After treatment for anterior knee pain, it is very important that your young athlete returns to his or her sport gradually.
Learn why parents choose our Sports Medicine Program for their young athlete’s knee pain.