Anterior (front) Knee Pain: 3 simple exercises to try

There are many possible causes of pain over the front or “deep in” the front of the knee or knee cap. These include damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, may be related to “wear & tear” (later BLOG on this !), alignment or even from the hip (referred pain – Later BLOG on this to). 

NONE OF THE EXERCISES SHOULD CAUSE PAIN- during or after them: They should strengthen and make your knees feel good.

“Guinea Pig Exercise”: Intrigued ? see 2 photos below …..

Imagine the towel is living guinea pig (gp) you are trying to hold the gp with your knees so it cannot run away  DO NOT Squash it! This pressure is maintained THROUGHOUT the exercise which should take about 30 seconds.
As you can see the ankles are also crossed first one way then repeated for another 30 seconds the other ankle on top. So the whole exercise routine should take 1 Min approx. The exercise is as follows:-
  • NOW, this is the clever bit ! 1st press your knees together against towel guinea pig (keep this pressure) NOW press your ankles against each other (1 forward, the other  backwards) for 5 seconds and release briefly and repeat 5 times BUT DO NOT let the pressure at the gp change …….. NO MORE & NO LESS pressure – it takes CO-ORDINATION & MUST NOT HURT AT ALL, maximum pressure but no PAIN!


 Sandwich Exercise: Diagram below

Called this as the first part (A) is repeated 1st and last and the middle part (B) is like a filling in the middle … does that make sense?

Part (A) – (the bread): A firm pad is placed under the back of the knee. The 1 in the circle means do this first – press your thigh down against the pad firmly but painlessly and maintain this throughout part (A). Next straighten lower leg shown by the dotted line and by the 2 in a circle. There will be stretch down the back of your leg and the front thigh muscle (the quads) should feel firm. No pain.

Part (B) – (the filling): The pad moves down to behind your ankle. downward pressure against pad is exerted now at the knee and ankle at the same time as shown by the 1’s in the circles. Again some stretch and firmness to the quad muscle. No pain

Do 5 repetitions of each  Part (A), (B) & (A – again) so that is a total of 15 reps……

sandwich knee exercise


Single Leg Balance: Just Play video.

This shows someone standing and balancing for a few seconds on a pillow with their eyes open. You could try at first WITHOUT pillow & even start with holding onto something stable, much later on try with your eyes closed and gradually increase to 1 Min. Start where you feel confident & gradually make harder.

As with all these health BLOGs like what you like, ignore what you don’t. But it might make you want and go and discuss your problem with your GP or Physio

Enjoy  Alan

Making sense out of the language of medicine: cutting out the unneeded harm

Words can hurt !!! but words can aid healing.

This is the point of this blog … getting this right can have a very powerful effect on therapy given and in helping our bodies attempts to heal ………….

“You have crumbling bones”!!

” you have a trapped nerve”

“It is just arthritis, live with it”

These some examples of phrases I have heard said and had my patients tell me they have been told. But you know words that are spoken to us have the added benefit or problem in HOW they are delivered. The voice used, the non-verbal body language that infers things like “caring”, honesty, eye contact these sorts of things that suggest we are trying get the right message to you. Do you get listened to in a way that allows me to reply with the right terms and language that you recognise & understand but still get over the diagnosis (what is wrong) and the prognosis (treatment and expected results) correctly.

Many medical terms can be thought of as “umbrella terms”  for instance LOW BACK PAIN; what does that tell you? it tells you what you told me !!! but what is the cause? … is it ligament, muscle, bone, disc, alignment, “out of joint”, muscle imbalance, postural; ’cause you’re over weight!, is it a major problem, genetic, lifestyle based,does it come from somewhere else (referred pain) kidneys for example. What is most likely it is NOT an either or issue. There will be muscle issues, mobility/stiffness issues possibly nerve issues there will be many INGREDIENTS; the Doctors or Physio’s interpretation may vary depending on the questions we ask, the answers you give, on how you are that day. The process I often think is like dealing with a crime-scene; facts gathered and eventually some suspects or PROVISIONAL DIAGNOSIS can be made. Your condition should change (ideally improve) so the suspects or diagnosis may change to … this is how it is.

Other similar umbrella terms are:-

non-specific low back pain – which translates as ” not sure what it is but it’s not serious and should get better”

Mechanical low back pain – it’s the machinery (muscles etc)nothing serious

Tennis elbow – pain on the outer bony area of the elbow with an ache in the forearm: Probably to do with forearm tendons/muscles. But could be referred.

Sciatica –  shouldn’t be used as “umbrella” term but not infrequently is. Pain down back of leg from a “trapped nerve” (there’s another one!!!) Sciatica should only really be used if the nerve fibres that conduct the impulses up and down the nerve to and from the brain are damaged. And NOT if the outer covering or sheath is pressed or inflamed. Think of an electrical cable if the outer white cable is indented or cut this often has no effect on the connection to the electrical system – its is similar with a nerve. Continue reading