David R. Beatty and Camilia Makyhoun

David R. Beatty, DO, Professor of Osteopathic Principles and Practice, WVSOM

Camilia Makyhoun, Assistant Editor, WVSOM Class of 2016

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Palpating the patella
The patella is different. Most bones meet other bones via joints but not the kneecap. It floats in the tendon of the quadriceps femoris muscle that straightens the knee. Most tendons connect a muscle to a bone but not the patellar tendon. Much of it stretches from the kneecap to the tibial tuberosity. Most bone and joint problems are not easily treated by self-administered manipulation but not patellofemoral syndrome. It responds quite well to the sequence of position of ease, stretch, and joint mobilization provided below.

DOCTOR'S NOTE: Seek evaluation by a health professional if your knee pain occurred following a knee injury or if you are unable to stand on that leg.


Right patella position of ease (WVSOM)

  1. Lie on your back with the legs straight;
  2. Place your foot on a pillow and allow the leg to relax. If knee pain is no better, add a second pillow;
  3. When comfortable, take a few deep breaths and rest in that position for 2-5 minutes;
  4. Slowly remove your foot from the pillow and proceed to the HAMSTRING STRETCH, or roll to one side before getting up;
  5. Use this position of ease 2-4 times a day before stretching or as often as needed for pain relief.

Left hamstring stretch (WVSOM)
  1. Sit with one leg straight and the hand on the same side on the floor behind you;
  2. Keeping the leg straight, reach with the other hand toward the foot as far as you can comfortably go;
  3. Take a few deep breaths and stretch for 10-20 seconds;
  4. Repeat for the other side if needed and then proceed to the PATELLA MOBILIZATION;
  5. Do this stretch 2-4 times a day.

Right patella mobilization
  1. Sit with your legs straight and a hand on the floor behind you;
  2. Use the web of your other hand to push the kneecap down toward the big toe as far as it will comfortably go and hold it there;
  3. Gently push the lower leg on that side up toward the ceiling until knee pain occurs;
  4. Slowly release and repeat 2-5 times;
  5. Do this self-mobilization 2-4 times a day.

1 comment:

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