Anterior knee pain

Anterior knee pain is a generalised term used by the medical profession to encompass a wide range of related, yet significantly different, conditions which produce pain at the front of the knee and as a result may need different treatment.

It is the most common presenting disorder involving the knee and up to 25% of the population are affected by anterior knee pain at some point in their lives.  Only back pain affects more people. 
Anterior Knee Pain is also recognised to be the most common cause of knee pain in adolescents and is also the most common overuse knee condition in sportspeople

Symptoms include;

  • Sharp twinges and dull aches in the front of the knee
  • Occasional swelling
  • Painful locking at the front of the knee
  • Feeling of weakness and giving way – worse going down hills or stairs
  • Clicking or grating at the front of the knee

Symptoms are aggravated by;

  • Walking down hill or stairs
  • Sports activities and sitting for prolonged periods

How can I manage or treat my anterior knee pain?

  • It is most often caused by overuse so try and identify aggravating factors and reduce them
  • Look at any lifestyle changes, have you changed job, have you put on weight or changed your shoes.  Try and reverse what you may have identified as the cause, especially if the changes coincided with the onset of the knee pain
  • Stretch the muscles that support the knee joint. Stretches should be held for 30 seconds. Please see lower limb stretching video
  • Strengthen the muscles that support the knee please see lower limb strengthening video
  • Gradually return to normal activity as pain improves

How can I prevent my anterior pain?

  • Anterior Knee pain is usually caused by overuse so vary your activities such as running, with cycling or gym work. Don’t always do hill walks
  • Keep yourself flexible, make your stretches part of your routine not just when in pain
  • Keep your leg muscles in good shape, again incorporate exercises into your routine and not just when in pain

Think about your footwear, are they well-fitting and suitable for your activities?