Knee pain is a prevalent issue among athletes that can significantly impact their performance and overall quality of life. This case study focuses on a 15-year-old female Hispanic soccer player who experienced persistent knee pain over two soccer seasons. Seeking chiropractic intervention, the patient underwent a comprehensive treatment plan including chiropractic adjustments, targeted exercise, and soft tissue manipulation to address the pain.
The patient, a 15-year-old female Hispanic soccer player, presented with a history of chronic knee pain in both knees over the past two soccer seasons. The discomfort predominantly affected the anterior and medial aspects of the knees, worsening during running, jumping, and kicking motions. The patient reported no history of significant knee injury or trauma. Previous attempts to alleviate the symptoms using rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medications yielded no significant relief, impairing her ability to fully participate in soccer.
A physical examination revealed tenderness in the medial and anterior aspects of both knees, without signs of swelling or redness. The patient exhibited normal range of motion, although she experienced pain during resisted knee extension and palpation of the quadriceps muscles. Additionally, restricted mobility in the lumbar spine and pelvis, along with muscle hypertonicity in the low back and hip area, were observed.
Based on the physical examination findings, a preliminary diagnosis of patellofemoral pain syndrome was established. A chiropractic treatment plan was devised, incorporating adjustments targeting the pelvis, low back, and lower extremities, alongside soft tissue manipulation around the knee. The aim of these interventions was to restore proper alignment and function to the musculoskeletal system, specifically the pelvis, spine, and lower extremities, with the potential to alleviate knee pain.
In addition to chiropractic adjustments, a tailored exercise program was prescribed to address muscle imbalances and weaknesses identified during the assessment. The program comprised stretching exercises to enhance flexibility in quadriceps and gastrocnemius muscles, along with strengthening exercises for the quadriceps, hamstrings, and soleus muscles to promote muscle balance around the knee joint.
The patient followed the chiropractic treatment plan, attending regular sessions for the duration of 8 weeks, amounting to a total of 12 sessions. Committed to the prescribed exercise regimen, she reported a gradual reduction in knee pain throughout the treatment period. Remarkably, she experienced improved soccer performance, displaying enhanced ability to run, jump, and kick without significant pain.
Posttreatment evaluation revealed improved range of motion in the lumbar spine and pelvis, with a notable decrease in low back and hip muscle hypertonicity. Tenderness over the medial and anterior aspects of the knees significantly subsided, and the patient reported only occasional mild discomfort during strenuous soccer activities. To further enhance musculoskeletal health and prevent future occurrences of knee pain, the patient was advised to adhere to a maintenance program comprising regular chiropractic adjustments and exercise.
This case study underscores the potential benefits of chiropractic care as a conservative and non-invasive approach in managing patellofemoral pain. By incorporating chiropractic adjustments to the pelvis, low back, and lower extremities, along with soft tissue manipulation around the knee and a targeted exercise program, knee pain in a 15-year-old female Hispanic soccer player was effectively reduced, enhancing her overall musculoskeletal well-being.