Kelly Brown takes a closer look at wearing of patella cartilage and offers some tips for working out of pain.
Chondromalicia is a condition where there is unusual softening or wearing of the cartilage under the patella. It is generally caused by incorrect tracking of the patella. The femur has a groove in the front of it that generally matches the wedge shape on the bottom of the patella. When everything is “tracking” correctly, the patella rides in the groove with even pressure on each side. When the alignment is altered, there is extra pressure on one side or one edge, which can eventually wear down the cartilage and even the bone.
The condition often arises in adolescence due to rapid growth. The most common culprits are poor hip strength and an imbalance in the strength/flexibility of the muscles that are above and below the knee. Symptoms may include general pain or discomfort on either side of the knee (frequently the inside) and are aggravated by activities such as running, jumping or going up and down stairs.
What follows are several ways to treat chondromalicia.