Some treatments for kneecap pain include resting the knee, applying ice, taking anti-inflammatory medications and undergoing physical therapy, states Dr. Jonathan Cluett for About.com. Changing exercise protocols, losing weight if necessary, using shoe inserts, wearing the right type of shoes and taping the kneecap are helpful as well, notes MedlinePlus.
Resting the knee allows inflammation to subside, explains Dr. Cluett. Taking anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, also eases inflammation and alleviates pain. Applying ice promotes blood flow to the knee and calms inflammation. Physical therapy strengthens the muscles surrounding the knee to provide enhanced support.
Swimming and biking do not exert much pressure on the knees and may be ideal exercises to allow the kneecap pain to subside, according to Mayo Clinic. Taping the knee can alleviate pain and may make exercising easier, and shoe inserts can improve the alignment of the kneecap.
If noninvasive treatments do not provide sufficient relief, surgical options are available, notes Mayo Clinic. Using arthroscopy, a surgeon can remove pieces of damaged cartilage from the knee that may be causing the discomfort. Alternatively, the surgeon can realign the angle of the kneecap or alleviate pressure on the kneecap. This involves altering the tendons to enhance mobility of the kneecap, states MedlinePlus.