What Is Runner’s Knee – Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is pain under and around the knee cap. The pain of PFPS may occur in one or both knees, and is aggravated during activity, while descending stairs and after long periods of inactivity.

What Causes Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

While the exact cause of patellofemoral pain isn’t known, it’s believed that the way the patella tracks along the groove of the femur can lead to irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the patella. The patella can move up and down, side to side in the groove, as well as tilt and rotate. All this movement means that the patella can have contact with many of the articular surfaces of the knee depending upon a variety of factors such as muscle strength and balance, overuse, and incorrect tracking. It also means that the cause of the pain may be from a variety of different factors.

What Can You Do About Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

Rest is one of the first treatment steps to reduce the pain and severity of patellofemoral pain and runner’s knee. Reduce your running or turn to non-impact exercise, such as swimming, to keep your fitness level while allowing your knees to heal.

While many athletes can manage their own rehab program, ideally you would want to see a sports physician or physiotherapist to learn the latest treatment options and learn how to perform the exercises correctly. Depending upon your diagnosis, there may be additional strengthening and stretching exercises you will need to add to your routine.

Hip Strengthening for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

The latest information about patellofemoral pain syndrome points the focus on strengthening the hips to get the kneecap to track correctly. An exercise that has been found helpful for knee pain is the Side Plank Exercise to strengthen the hips.

Previous research on patellofemoral pain syndrome has looked at the feet and the quadriceps as part of the problem. Some people have reported that using specific shoe insoles or strengthening the quads can reduce knee pain, and quad balance may still have a place in treatment.

Disclaimer: The information is for informative purposes and not to replace proper treatment. For more information or to book an appointment please contact Sydney Physios and Allied Health Services