Causes and treatment of knee pain in young adult

Knee pain is a common complaint in older people, but some young adults also suffer from it ,this article explains the condition that can cause knee pain in young adult.

What is the knee joint?

Knee joint consist of the joint between the thigh bone (femur) and the leg bone (tibia) ; in addition to the knee cap .the articulation is covered by a tense tissue called capsule , there are few tense soft tissue structures namely menisci and the cruciate ligaments.there are another set of strong tissue outside the capsule that also help in the stability of the joint .these are called the collateral ligaments.

What is patella-femoral pain syndrome?

As many as 1 in 3 young adults experience knee pain at some time or other .this is commonly caused by imbalance in the muscles surrounding the knee joint which affect the knee cap (patella).it is also known as runners knee because it is particularly common in people who run or do other sports.

Causes of patello-femoral pain syndrome:

Several causes of knee joint pain including:

  • Overuse: bending your knee again and again or doing a lot of high stress exercise like lunges and plyometric (jump training).
  • a direct hit to the knee: like fall from hight or a heavy blow to the knee .
  • Your bones are not line up properly: if any of the bones from your hips to your ankles aren’t out of their correct position .including knee cap.
  • Problems with your feet: hypermobile feet or flat feet also causes of knee pain.
  • Weak or unbalanced thigh muscle: due to weak or tight quadriceps ,your knee cap may not stay in the right spot.
  • Chondromalacia of patella: a condition in which the cartilage under your knee cap breaks down.

Symptoms of patello-femoral pain syndrome:

  • Pain at the front of your knee
  • Pain during walk up or down stairs.
  • Pain during kneeling or squatting
  • Pain when you sit or bent your knee for a long period of time.


You doctor diagnose your knee pain by some case ,you doctor need x-ray or MRI to exclude your problem from others.


In case acute pain (immediate onset of pain)you should stop your activity that causes bending your knee .

In this time you can go through the RICE method


I=icing daily for 10-15 minutes

C=compress your knee with a elastic bandage

E=If there any swelling you should elevate you affected knee above your heart level.

By this time you can take some medication also like NSAIDs with PPE blocker.

Later you can go through following exercise therapy that reduces the chances of knee pain and it also prevent you from repetitive knee injury.

Strengthening of quadriceps muscles:

You can strengthen your quadriceps muscle (muscles at the front of your thigh) by following way:

1. Isometric quad strengthening:

  1. Sit or lie on a bed
  2. Place a rounded pillow or rolled towel under you affected knee
  3. Now press your knee downwords and at a time bend your ankle towards you.
  4. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
  5. Repeat this exercise 5-10 times in a set and do it 3 times in a day.

2. Leg extension :

  1. Sit in a chair with both feet flat on the ground.
  2. Straighten your right leg to extend ,felling the muscle in the upper thigh is working.
  3. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
  4. Then lower the foot and repeat 10 times.
  5. Repeat on the other leg.
  6. Rest for 15 second
  7. Repeat on both leg for 2 more sets.

Exercise tips: patient suffering from patello-femoral pain syndrome avoid cycling. But they can continue their others exercise and daily activity also.

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