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How to sleep with patellar chondromalacia?

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    Patellar chondromalacia is a more common injury than many people imagine, as the knee is the most complex joint in the body and is responsible for supporting body weight while standing.

    It is a fact that the pain from patellar chondromalacia affects the overall well-being of the person suffering from it, including the quality of sleep. In this post, we will give you some tips on how to sleep with patellar chondromalacia so that your rest is not interrupted by pain and other typical discomforts of this condition.

    Recommendations for sleeping with patellar chondromalacia

    Approximately 90% of patients overcome episodes of patellar chondromalacia pain in 6 months or less with individualized treatment. However, while this happens, you will need to implement the following tips to sleep much better. Take note!…

    Correct position

    Flexing your leg while sleeping will increase the pain and keep you awake all night. If you want to feel comfortable, the ideal position is supine (on your back). To increase the feeling of comfort, we suggest keeping the leg straight and slightly elevated. This will help reduce inflammation. Use several pillows along the injured leg to support it and achieve proper support while sleeping.

    Choice of mattress and pillow

    Mattresses in poor condition or deformed by themselves disrupt the sleep quality of anyone, especially when you are experiencing a painful episode of patellar chondromalacia. Having a mattress in good condition will prevent you from “sinking into the bed” and adopting improper postures that will only increase the intensity of the pain.

    As mentioned in the previous point, pillows will become an infallible ally to provide support and stability to the leg during rest.

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    Exercises and stretches to relieve pain

    Daily stretching exercises are an essential part of patellar chondromalacia rehabilitation. There are specific exercises that help strengthen the joint structures and alleviate anterior knee pain. After a few days, you will see how you can sleep through the night. Here are three of them:

    Quadriceps extension with external rotation and resistance with a ball: Lie completely on the floor and place a medium-sized ball under the affected knee. Gently raise the lower part of the leg (shin, fibula, and foot) upward, pressing the back of the knee against the ball as you lift and reducing the pressure as you lower (do 3 sets of 12 repetitions).

    Pelvic lift with adduction and resistance with a ball: Again, lying on the floor, flex your legs until they form a "bridge." Place the ball between your knees and apply pressure to prevent it from falling. Then, start lifting your pelvis, squeezing the ball with each repetition (do 3 sets of 12 repetitions).

    Unilateral quadriceps extension with a ball: In the same position as the previous exercise (with the legs flexed and the ball between the knees), extend the lower part of the affected leg upward, applying pressure to the ball. Each set consists of 12 repetitions. Complete 3 sets.

    It is important to mention that these exercises can be performed on both the injured and healthy leg to minimize the risk of new injuries. The exercises should not increase the level of pain. If this happens, we recommend stopping the activity or reducing the applied force.

    Other measures to improve sleep

    Meditation has been proven to help reduce pain by shifting the stress that puts the body on alert to a calmer and more peaceful emotional state, which in turn generates an analgesic effect. Therefore, we have included this option in our list of measures on how to sleep with patellar chondromalacia.

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