That pain in your knee is often what doctors call patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). Simple activities such as running, jumping, or going up and down stairs can contribute to knee pain, which means that most of us will eventually suffer from some form of PFPS.
It has been suggested that PFPS can be relieved by sufficient stretching and lengthening of tight structures around the patella (the kneecap). A study in the Journal of the Neuromusculoskeletal System investigated this potential intervention in 30 patients with PFPS.
Patients were divided into two groups: The first group received "patella mobilization" (extension of the knee with pressure and movement applied for 10 minutes, followed by patellar adjustment in the direction of restricted movement); the second group received detuned ultrasound as placebo (five minutes of ultrasound, but with the intensity set at zero).
Patients receiving mobilization had positive improvements in PFPS symptoms compared with the placebo group. The authors note that this type of conservative care may be useful when combined with other treatment options such as exercise, orthotics and activity modification. If you're suffering from knee pain and would like to know more about nonsurgical approaches to relieving your pain, contact your doctor of chiropractic.
Rowlands BW, Brantingham JW. The efficacy of patella mobilization in patients suffering from patellofemoral pain syndrome. Journal of the Neuromusculoskeletal System 1999: Vol. 7, No. 4, pp142-49.