Exercises for Knee Pain at Range of Motion Physical Therapy Dublin
Last year I wrote a short blog on Patellafemoral Pain Syndrome PFPS here, in this follow up article I will expand on some more information on some exercises that are proven to help PFPS with strengthen quads and glutes, while not causing excess load on the patella.

The cause of PFPS can be put down to quite a large number of factors, muscle weakness (Glutes & Quads), poor motor control (incl. core strength and proprioception), altered biomechanics (such as ankle pronation) and soft tissue issues (tight ITB / Psoas / Hamstrings etc..)

The key to managing PFPS is a graded exercise programme without aggravating symptoms. The best types of exercises prescribed are Open & Closed Chain exercises.

Open Chain Exercises: are when your foot is free to move during an open chain exercise. These types of movements tend to isolate a single muscle group and a single joint. For example, the one joint involved during a leg extension is the knee and the muscle group it isolates is the quads. Other examples of open chain exercises include leg curls, clams and leg flexion and extensions.

Closed Chain Exercises: these are the opposite to open chain exercises in that your foot is in a fixed position, normally with the ground. Closed chain exercises work multiple joints and multiple muscle groups at once. For example, a squat involves the knee, hip and ankle joints, and multiple muscles groups (quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves and glutes).

Closed chain exercises can be done with body weight alone and progressed with added weight, bands etc.. Other examples of closed chain exercises include step ups / step downs, mini squats, single leg squats and lunges.

The angle of the knee is a very important factor when carrying out exercises to help reduce knee pain. There are varying degrees of knee flexion which help ensure minimum load on the knee joint while recruiting as much muscle strength. Ideal ranges for Closed Chain exercises are 0 – 45° of knee flexion, working lower as a progression.

For Open Chain exercise it is best to work 0 – 20° for the likes of quad sets or straight leg raises and 45 – 90° for leg extensions.

An exercise programme for this injury is based on a comprehensive assessment and gradual progressions, pain is the key indicator for the exercise progressions, in that there should be little or no pain when carrying out the exercises.

Contact us here should you wish to learn more or book in for an assessment.

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