Nicola

Will weak quadriceps cause knee pain?

Will weak quadriceps cause knee pain? When standing normally my knee caps appear to droop however when i pull up my quadriceps this causes a painful and noisy 'clunk ' inside my knee however my knee caps no longer look droopy. If i try to do any exercise such as running i end up with quite subtsantial knee pain. If you think my knee issues are caused by weak quadriceps would you expect an improvement purely from taining the quaricep muscles. My hamstrings, in comparison are very 'loose'. I am able to put my palms on the floor if i bend over. All thoughts gratefully received

16 June 2013

I can only give general advice, because it impossible to know what is going on in your case without examining you thoroughly. Your quadriceps, which extend your knee and bend your hip, are attached to your lower leg just below the kneecap on the front by a tough connective tissue called a tendon. Your kneecap in turn is attached to this tendon. It is normal for the kneecap to be pulled slightly upwards when you tense your quadriceps – the clunk, however, is not normal. You may have a loose kneecap, making you prone to dislocation.

There are dozens of causes of knee pain, but one of the most common causes of pain in the front of the knee is chondromalacia patellae, a condition of inflammation of the back of the kneecap where it passes over the front of the knee joint. In the short term, rest is often recommended for this condition. However, in the longer term, strengthening the quadriceps can reduce the risk of knee problems by building up the muscles that help support the joint. If you can put your hands very easily on the floor when you bend, and especially if you have other extremely flexible joints, you may have a condition called hypermobility. People who have this have unusually loose ligaments and can get a lot of joint pain because of the ease with which they can overstretch their joints. I would suggest you see a physiotherapist for an assessment. 

Got a health question?

We’re here to help you take care of your health - whenever you need us, wherever you are, whether you're an AXA PPP healthcare member or not.

Our Ask the Expert service allows you to ask our team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives, counsellors and pharmacists about any health topic.