Women and girls often experience knee problems, especially knee pain and pain around the kneecap.
Anatomically, women may be more susceptible to knee problems than men because the female pelvis is wider than the male pelvis, increasing the angle from the hip to the knee. This is called the “Q angle,” and it can affect the angle between the knee joint and the lower leg. If the “Q angle” is large, there may be increased stress across the kneecap and the knee joint, resulting in knee pain, kneecap tracking and alignment problems.
Women who are bowlegged or knock-kneed often have inner or outer knee pain, pain around the kneecap or cartilage injuries.
Women also tend to have more ligament laxity in their joints than men, which may lead to a higher incidence of injuries like medical collateral ligament (MCL) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) strains or tears, especially in female athletes. Hormonal changes through the month can also play a role in the laxity of ligaments.
Other contributing causes of knee pain include:
Stretching with the physical therapist and at home on your own should not be forceful and should not cause pain. If you feel pain, you may be too aggressive with the stretch and need to back off the stretch. A few well-done stretches will give you better therapeutic benefit than many poorly done exercises.
If you have knee pain or pain around the kneecap, you might be a candidate for physical therapy.