Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), or chronic knee pain, is the most common musculoskeletal overuse injury in active adults. (1) Also known as Runner’s Knee, PFPS ranges in severity from person to person and can include symptoms such as:
- Pain in and around the kneecap during activity
- Pain in and around the kneecap while sitting for extended periods of time with the knees bent
- Weakness or feelings of instability
- Rubbing, grinding, or clicking of the kneecap during movement
- Tenderness of the kneecap (2)
Knee Pain Treatments
Historically, knee pain has been dealt with using three primary treatment types; icing, stretching, and anti-inflammatory medications. However, a new study published in the International Journal of Orthopaedics Research in 2020 looked into the long-term treatment plans used by patients with chronic knee pain and found that despite using anti-inflammatory drugs for long periods of time, a majority weren’t experiencing any significant improvement. (3)
Knee Pain Causes
While there are a wide variety of factors that can contribute to PFPS, recent research has revealed that the true cause of knee pain may not be related to the knee at all, but rather located in muscles further up the leg. Simeon Mellinger and Grace Anne Neurohr from the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics (4) concluded in their 2019 paper that to determine the source of knee pain, a comprehensive musculoskeletal exam followed by strengthening and motor retraining programs were the best way to not only manage pain and symptoms, but work towards true recovery.
This emphasis in searching for the source of pain away from the knee itself was further supported by an earlier study, published in 2011 in the National Library of Medicine. This study found that after 3 weeks of a strengthening protocol in the hip abductor of individuals experiencing PFPS, the group demonstrated less pain than those not working the strengthening protocols. (5)
Additionally, published earlier this year in the Physical Therapy in Sport journal, the paper “Lower extremity muscle volume in females with patellofemoral pain and its relationships to hip and knee torque: A cross-sectional study.” (6), elaborated further on this concept through a study looking at the relationship between PFPS and thigh and hip muscle volume and torque. In this paper, Dr. Glaviano touches upon the idea that strength doesn’t necessarily have to do with muscle size directly, but rather the ability of the body to produce and manage force effectively.
How to Treat Knee Pain with ARPwave NeuroTherapy
The ARPwave knee protocol addresses both of these points, emphasizing searching for and treating the cause of the problem, the problem being areas of the body where the nervous system isn’t communicating properly, causing force to be distributed to parts of the body unequipped to handle it. While it’s common to find spots related to knee pain in and around the knee, sometimes these spots can be found in other areas, such as the hip flexors. Through ARPwave Protocols, patients are able to address an injury at the root of the problem and achieve a long-lasting permanent fix.
By utilizing ARPwave’s proprietary direct current, similar to the type of electrical signals that the body uses in conjunction to customized protocols, ARPwave NeuroTherapy helps the muscles break through those lapses in communication and help the muscles relearn what they’re supposed to be doing. This process of neuroplastic pattern rewriting supports the knee by redirecting the force that’s causing the pain back to the place it’s meant to be going, the muscles.
ARPwave has been using this technique for many years, very successfully, but it seems now that the research is finally catching up. Looking at the body as a whole, as opposed to a list of symptoms, is becoming increasingly more standard in the medical community. This fully inclusive approach has been highly successful and encourages providers and patients to look outside the box for pain relief.
For additional information regarding ARPwave and the knee protocol, please click here.