Anterior Knee Pain

One of the most common sports injuries, anterior knee pain is typified by pain in and around the front of the knee.


Pain below and on the sides of the kneecap. The pain is generally aggravated by activity and reduced by relaxation. There may be a grinding noise when you bend the knee, and training and sport become extremely difficult to pursue. The pain may worsen until it persists even when you are doing no activity.


There are many possible causes of anterior knee pain. Often the kneecap has been pulled in an unnatural manner that affects the knee's alignment with the relevant muscles. Weakened quadriceps can prevent smooth progress of the kneecap, as can overpronation – the feet rolling excessively inwards.

Other things to look for include a recent alteration in training regime and the exacerbation of a previous knee injury. One of the most widespread causes in terms of previous injuries is patellofemoral pain syndrome, characterised by pain around the kneecap which flares up while using stairs, running, and when sitting for extended periods. It is thought to be due to a problem resulting from the way the kneecap interacts with the femur.

Also associated with anterior knee pain is patellar tendinopathy (or Jumper's Knee), involving tearing of the patella tendon. Arthritis and cartilage injury can also both contribute to the condition.

Initial Treatment

Rest the joint by taking a break from training or by performing only exercise that requires far less impact on the knees, such as swimming. Use ice on your knees after working out. Attempt a program of physical therapy in order to improve your muscles. Carry out safe strengthening exercises for important muscles associated with the knees: your quadriceps, hamstring, and hip adductor. Do not put unnecessary strain on the joint by taking part in impact-heavy activities until you can do so without pain. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can help but you should consult a doctor beforehand.

Seeking Medical Advice

If the pain persists for more than 2 to 3 weeks while resting the joint, it is wise to contact your doctor. They will conduct a physical examination of the knee and may perform tests to rule out potential structural damage to connective tissue or the knee itself. Ask about relevant exercise programs and also suitable footwear, as wearing sports trainers or particular shoe inserts can help to curb knee pain.


Try not to suddenly change your exercise regime in a way that places unexpected strain on your knees; always introduce new elements gradually. Warming up and stretching properly is essential both before and after exercise. Persistent stretching of the aforementioned important muscles like quads 2 to 3 times a day should strengthen them and help to ensure that this pain does not return. Seek out shoes that correct overpronation. If you go running, attempt to stay on flatter roads and avoid an overload of running downhill. Include a portion of rest in your training or sports routine.

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