How to Reduce Knee Pain Caused by Chondromalacia Patella (CMP)

a woman's aching knee

If you suffer from CMP (chondromalacia patella), I don’t have to tell you how much it can hurt.  That nagging pain can really get to you, every time you do something as simple as standing up from a sitting position, or climbing the front steps to your house.

CMP occurs when the cartilage behind your kneecap is damaged.  Because cartilage serves the purpose of protecting your joints from the shock of impact, damaging cartilage leaves them vulnerable.  This is especially true of the knees, as they do so much heavy lifting for the rest of you.

The condition can stem from a variety of causes, including overuse, misalignment and the burden of excessive weight.

What you can do.

If you’re nursing a case of CMP, there are some self-care options you can pursue.  These are first-tier triage helpers, but I’d counsel that if you’ve employed them over the course of several days and are not finding relief from the pain, that you see a physical therapist.

How to reduce knee pain caused by chondromalacia patella can be as simple as staying off your feet and resting.   Icing your knee can also help.  As I said above, though, CMP can mask an underlying problem a physical therapist can help you with.

Physical therapy responses.

Your physical therapist’s job is to ascertain the root cause of CMP, which stems from a variety of factors, as stated above.  It may be that you learn there’s an alignment problem in your lower body, which can be addressed with the help of physical therapy.

Once your therapist has had the opportunity to consult with and examine you at length, a course of therapy will be prescribed.  Your recovery program may implicate several different strategies, or focus on one or two.  Because physical therapy addresses the individual as a unique manifestation of a prototype (the human body), your care plan will be tailored to fit you.

Manual therapy is only one tool in the physical therapist’s toolbox.  You may also be treated with electric stimulation or ultrasound to address inflammation.  In conjunction with whatever the PT plans to rehabilitate your CMP, you’ll be asked to fully participate in your program of care.

Participation required.

Your physical therapist will prescribe a course of exercises to strengthen key muscles and improve function in the knee.  These exercises are your responsibility to perform between sessions.  In conjunction with your program of physical therapy rehabilitation, these are key to resolving the issue.

With physical therapy, you don’t just show up – you work with your PT as a full participant in the process.  Even when your course of therapy has resolved your CMP, you’ll still have to be vigilant by working toward increased muscle strength.  A home exercise program should be continued to ensure that you don’t lose what you’ve gained working with the physical therapist.

CMP is a painful condition that can be resolved with the help of a physical therapist who can address the underlying problem that’s led to it.  Contact us to find out more.