So, I was just discussing with one of my patients the incidence of medial knee pain in teenage girls. Now, keep in mind this is my own opinion over the course of my 28 years in practice as a PT and I have not researched this topic, its just an observation form experience.
As you know, girls eventually get curvy and the pelvic girdle widens. As this happens, you will see more angular shape to girls knees with some knock kneed posture. This extra stress on the medial or inside portion of the knee in our younger teenagers can cause knee pain. Athletic girls need to be especially concerned about increasing muscle mass in their quadriceps to help with the angular stresses that happen when curvy bodies begin and they are running and jumping.
On top of this, our 11 to 14 year old girls get growth spurts. I have friends that have told me that their daughter grew almost 5 inches in one year. The long bones- femur and tibia – will grow and your teens need to keep stretching their hamstrings, calves, and quads to keep up with the bone growth. Just hamstring tightness in our growing girls can cause knee pain, as well.
So, quick advice for today, look at your teenagers knees and muscle tone around their knees, if they have wimpy muscles and they can not touch the floor with their hands, you should start stretching and doing some good quadricep exercises. This is Part #1 of a two-part blog.