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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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Everyone seems to be doing these Core Exercises I hear about. They are mostly for your abdominal muscles, right? Would they do anything to help me with my knee pain from patellofemoral pain syndrome? My soccer game really sucks when my knee hurts.

Core training refers to a strengthening program of muscles in the trunk, which includes the abdomen, pelvis, and low back. More and more studies are showing the positive benefits of doing these lumbopelvic stabilization exercises. They have been shown to benefit people with problems in the lower quadrant. This can include low back, hip, and knee problems. The relationship between patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) and weakness of the core muscles has been demonstrated in the last few years. As a result, more studies are focusing on the benefit of doing these exercises to decrease knee pain and improve function in patients with PFPS. The exact reason for the link between lumbopelvic stabilization and PFPS isn't completely clear. One theory is that the body is a dynamic functional unit. Anything that affects one area has the potential to affect other regions along the kinetic chain. In the case of knee problems, the foot and ankle below and the hip and spine above can impact what happens at the knee. Treatment that takes into consideration the biomechanical links between the foot, ankle, knee, hip, pelvis, and spine seem to be most effective in treating PFPS. The results of numerous studies support the idea that PFPS occurs as a result of multiple interactions (dysfunctions) between these regions. When done properly, core training can't hurt and it may be very beneficial -- for the knee as well as other areas of the body. If you have been diagnosed with PFPS and have not received any treatment for this problem, you may want to try a couple of different treatment options combined with Core training. This approach seems to have the kind of results (decreased pain, improved function, faster return to sports) most athletes are looking for. A physical therapist can help you with this kind of program. An individually prescribed program is recommended based on your particular alignment, areas of weakness, and/or loss of motor control and proprioception (joint sense of position). You can do most of the exercises at home on your own with occasional direction from the therapist. The program will be progressed according to your responses measured by pain and function.


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