I don't mean for this as a cure of PFPS (obviously) but has anyone else noticed a remarkable reduction of symptoms after consuming (small/moderate) amounts of alcohol. The effect seems to last for at least a day after consumption!This comment brought to you by the Whiskey Distillers of America!
Seriously, is there any reason for alcohol to have such a happy effect on someone’s grumbling knee tissues? I think there are in fact two good reasons (though I’m doubtful either would last for an entire day after one stops imbibing -- so it’s possible that there’s something completely unrelated going on with this guy).
For one, alcohol dulls all sensations. Sometimes drunk people walk into walls and hardly feel the impact. Now, the comment made reference to “small/moderate amounts of alcohol” -- so that’s not getting blotto clearly -- but the nerve-deadening effect of alcohol would just be played out on a smaller scale.
Now, that’s the more obvious reason -- which I’m sure the commenter has already taken into account. The not-so-obvious reason is the one I find more interesting.
Alcohol relaxes you. In doing so, it relaxes muscles. And some of those looser muscles naturally belong to your upper legs.
Why does that matter? Knee pain while seated (the so-called “moviegoer’s sign”) is a hallmark symptom of patellofemoral pain syndrome. What’s happening typically is the cartilage in your knee joint isn’t strong enough to handle the additional force that comes with bent-leg sitting. You wouldn’t think merely sitting is that physically stressful. But it’s enough to send weak knees over the edge.
If you want to increase that pain, just tighten those thigh muscles -- through stress or nervousness or whatever -- and that will pull your kneecap a tad closer to your underlying femur, which should increase your discomfort. However, if you relax, by having a drink (or two or three), the opposite should occur: a lessening of symptoms.
I think this is the same reason that stretching feels good. You loosen muscles and take pressure off that sensitive junction where kneecap-cartilage-femur meet.
In my opinion, neither stretching nor having several Corona Lights is really a lasting solution for knee pain. But might they be good for temporary relief? Could be.