1. I have not, but there is a program for it in the database: Chondromalacia Patellae. Inflammation of the back of the kneecap and softening of cartilage.
2. I'm aware of an elderly lady who used this program successfully for chondromalacia patellae.
3. When searching you can widen your choices by searching symptoms and study the sidebar. I have been able to get a great range of choices.
4. The best help for chondromalacia I found was a good set of arch supports for shoes or sandals with an arch (e.g., Birkenstock), along with slow shallow knee bends to no more than 20 degrees. Chondromalacia often happens because the vastus medialis muscle on the medial side of the thigh above the knee grows much weaker than the vastus lateralis, on the outside of the thigh. The knee cap gets pulled away from its normal sliding groove and inflamed underneath. The medialis needs to be strengthened, and in my experience, a shallow knee bend of 5 or 6 inches will help the medialis strengthen (you can feel the burn after 15 slow shallow knee bends). Full leg presses and squats were more harmful than helpful for me.
The most important thing for me was to get good arch supports. That changes the angle of the knee to where it should be and allows the patella to glide better in its proper pathway. The other thing was the shallow knee bends. I actually have a Tai Chi exercise that I do for this (basically controlled very slow walking, heel to toe, bending the knee no more than 20 degrees) that keeps the inner thigh muscle above the knee strong (vastus medialis). The key for me has been to not push through the pain, and to not bend the knee past the point of pain when exercising. This means that deep squats and lunges or full leg extension weights must be avoided. I have also taken Glucosamine Sulfate with Chondroitin or MSM over the years, and it has helped a great deal. I found I needed to take it for about three weeks before feeling a difference, but it gradually helps re-build cartilage. I would highly recommend that as well.
So three things that I have found to help:
- good arch supports (will provide some immediate relief)
- shallow knee bends or Tai Chi walking
- Glucosamine Sulfate with Chondroitin or MSM
After a period of rest, being careful on stairs, and avoiding certain movements, I slowly began to heal. A physiotherapist told me to stop when there was pain: "to the pain, but not through the pain." Warmup and stretching are important too. Every person is different, and has to listen to what their body is telling them. My son has flat feet and was developing early stages of chondromalacia. I bought him good arch supports for his shoes and the pain went away. If some damage is already done, it will take longer to recover (in my experience). If you type [chondromalacia patella exercises] into the YouTube search window, you'll find lots of exercises for helping recover.
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