Knee pain – Why you may be given exercises for your hip

Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is common source of pain at the front of the knee and can be caused by changes in the way the knee cap moves over the end of the thigh bone. The thigh muscles (quadriceps) are responsible for moving the knee cap and control its positioning.  PFP is a very common patient presentation at physiotherapy clinics, including ours!

As with most injuries, some form of exercise is generally prescribed by your physiotherapist as it aids recovery and rehabilitation, and PFP is no different. Strengthening the quadriceps muscles in the correct way is very important with this condition due to their close relationship to the knee cap (it’s inside the quadriceps tendon!).

The best available evidence suggests that strengthening of your hip muscules is beneficial for improving pain and function in people with PFP. This combined with quadriceps strengthening is more beneficial than only strengthening your thigh muscles. This is because the hip muscles control your thigh bone position relative to your shin bone, and if certain muscles aren’t as strong as they could be, the result may be increased rotation of the thigh bone. As the knee cap sits on the end of the thigh bone, it makes sense that it could upset the harmony at that joint!

Everything is connected, meaning the location of pain isn’t always the only source of the problem.

If you are experiencing pain, book an assessment with one of our Physiotherapists by calling 8555 4099 or click here to book online.


Written by Meg Doyle – Physiotherapist