Stretching exercises which may be used in the treatment and rehabilitation of chondramalacia patellae (CMP)
Stretching for chondramalacia patella
The following guidelines are for information purposes only. We recommend seeking professional advice before beginning rehabilitation. With chondramalacia patellae it is usually the structures and muscles on the outside of the knee such as the IT band and the Vastus Lateralis which are tight.
However, each athlete's rehab program may be different depending on their specific causes of injury.
Lateral structures of the knee
The tight structures of the knee such as the lateral retinaculum need to be stretched and mobilized. This is often done by a therapist. The athlete sits with the knee slightly bent. The kneecap is then glided or pulled towards the inside of the knee the the hands and held for 20 to 30 seconds.
Hold the foot of the leg to be stretched and gently pull up behind. Aim to keep the knees together and pull the leg up straight not twisted. The athlete should feel a stretch at the front of the leg. It should not be painful. Hold stretches for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times. Important - if this stretch is painful for the knee then do not do it. Use sports massage until pain allows.
Iliotibial band stretching
Place the leg you want to stretch behind the other one. Raise the same arm upwards and lean over to the opposite side as shown. Hold for 20-30 seconds, repeat 3-5 times and do this at least three times a day. It is a lot of stretching but it is worth it in the end if you want to be rid of this injury. Never bounce when stretching, always ease into it gently and try to relax. If it is painful you are not doing it properly!
Long adductor groin stretch
To stretch the long groin muscles which cross the knee joint stand with the feet wide apart. Bend the knee that you don't want to stretch and lean away from the one you are stretching. A more comfortable long adductor stretch is done sitting on the floor with the legs out wide as far as they will go. Gently lean forward to increase the stretch. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times, at least 3 times a day.
Short adductor groin stretch
Sit on the floor with he soles of the feet together and as close in to the buttocks as possible. Rest the elbows ont he insides of the knees and gently push down until a stretch is felt in the upper groin. Hold for 20-30 seconds, rest and repeat 3-5 times, at least 3 times a day.