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Patellar mobilisations

Patellar mobilisations are simple but important exercises to break sticky adhesions that may develop around the kneecap and limit its movement. As the patella and its related tissues must remain mobile if the knee is to have full flexion and extension (bending and straightening), breaking any adhesions prevents later stiffness.

Sit on a flat surface with the back supported and the knees out straight in front of you. Grasp the kneecap and gently move it from side to side, and up and down. Tilt it from side to side also. Then grasp the tendon below it and move the tendon from side to side. Massage the tissues in the area above the kneecap.

You may be interested to read Dirk Kokmeyer's paper on this.

patellar mobilisation An assistant uses both thumbs to push the patella over to the inner aspect. The stretch needs to be held for a few seconds.
patellar mobilisation Then the fingertips are used to push the patella over to the outer side.
patellar mobilisation Here the patella is pushed downwards.

You can do all these exercises yourself. Just remember that the knee must be straight otherwise the patella engages in the underlying groove and will be hard to move around.
Updated: 22 Apr, 2013
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