Knee Pain in Catchers: A Brief Introduction to Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome by Chris Schattinger M.S., CSCS, CISSN

Of all the sports-related knee injuries we have discussed it would seem as though none occur in baseball. This is obviously not the case If you happened to see what occurred to Bryce Harper this weekend.

Recently one of our followers reached out to us and mentioned that those who are catchers in baseball are “guaranteed to have knee problems”.

If you think about it this seems probable. The excessive amount of time spent in the squatting position certainly places excessive force on the knee.

After a few quick searches the term “Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)” came to light. Simply put this is pain that occurs at the meeting of the knee cap and femur, even more commonly referred to as “anterior knee pain”.

This diagnosis is given when all other causes of knee pain have been ruled out, this including ligament injuries and other chronic conditions.

Overuse is believed to be one of the main causes of PFPS though a sole cause has yet to be identified.

Going on this tangent it is understandable how this can become a chronic issue in baseball catchers. The picture below can help to visualize this.

 Force on the knee changes from standing to squatting position.

Force on the knee changes from standing to squatting position.

When in the standing position your body pushes down on the ground and is opposed by the same force pushing up. The same applies in the squatting position however now all the pressure is fixated on the knee.

So, if someone has been a catcher for many years imagine how much longer that person’s knees are under excessive force as opposed to average Joe.

Taking that into consideration it becomes plausible that, at the very least, catchers are susceptible to PFPS.

This week we will dive further into the knee problems that an occur with catchers and take an in depth look at those problems, such as PFPS. Stay Tuned!

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