Chondromalacia patellae, also known as “runner’s knee,” is a condition where softening and deteriation of the tissue (cartilage) on the underside of the patella (kneecap). A normally functioning knee joint complex has a thick cartilage layer allowing for the patella ("kneecap") to glide painlessly over the femur (thigh bone). In cases of repetitive stress and high impact movements, it can erode this joint cartilage and cause pain when the patella glides over the end of the femur. This condition can be described as dull achy pain on towards the front of the knee. Patient often notices that this pain gradually increases over time.
Besides that it is common for this type of injury to occur with athletes, it is also common with people following an auto accident. During a variety of collisions, the front seat passenger or driver's knees may forcefully hit the dashboard. This is the type of direct impact that can cause this issue.
During the acute stage of the healing process it's important to incorporate the P.R.I.C.E. acronym (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate). The stressful inducing mechanism of knee pain should be stopped. Muscle stimulation can be an effective means to reduce pain in the area. Hip, joint and ankle manipulation can help improve the dynamics of the leg movement. Deep tissue massage can help reduce muscle spasm and relieve stress of trigger points. Once the pain is controlled, it's important to strengthen the leg muscles surrounding the knee.
Visit a local chiropractic clinic if you have symptoms consistent with this type of knee pain. The Chiropractor will provide a conservative approach to the issue. If conservative care is not effective enough, the physician may recommend diagnostic imaging and possible referral to a specialist.