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Q

I have horrible pain on the front of my knee when I run, jump, squat, and go up and down stairs. I was given some exercises but my symptoms have gotten worse. One exercise included putting a weight around my ankle with a pillow under my knee while straightening and slowly lowering my knee. Before, it would hurt after exercise, now it hurts during exercise. I know that exercise is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but when it hurts to exercise, I become frustrated.

 
A

From the symptoms you describe, I suspect you have a problem with the way your knee-cap is working. The name of the exercise that you describe is a short arc quad (SAQ). Some people say that pain in the front of the knee is a weakness of the muscles on the front of the thigh. Many other things can contribute to this type of knee pain, such as: being inflexible, hip weakness, poor arch support, excessive pronation, poor core strength, inflammation and possibly some problems inside the knee. Until you determine the cause of your pain you should be careful with the type of exercises you perform, especially since you got worse. This type of knee pain (patellofemoral pain) is one of the most common knee complaints. In one study, pain around the patella accounted for 25% of all knee injuries. It is a very common problem often with a multifaceted cause. It sounds like it was recommended you focus on strengthening your quadriceps when there are likely other contributors. I recommend a thorough evaluation by a physical therapist who focuses on a whole body approach and can identify the cause of your pain.

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