Patello Femoral Pain Syndrome
PFPS is a common cause of knee pain. It can be pain arising from the patello-femoral joint surfaces (the joint formed by the knee cap and the thigh bone ‘Femur’) or the adjacent soft tissues.
Pain can be felt in all aspects of the knee in PFPS. It can arise from trauma, but more often it is a combination of several factors such as – overuse and overload of the patello-femoral joint (sudden increase in your physical activity), muscle weakness or imbalance around the knee hip, or ankle.
This could be tightness in the calf, hamstring or hip musculature and ITB and some anatomical or biomechanical abnormalities.
It can be aggravated by activities such as walking up and downhill, climbing, stairs, cycling, squatting, kneeling, running, getting out of a low chair, prolonged sitting with knee bent (movie theatre sign).
Treatment for PFPS
There needs to be a holistic approach taken to treat knee pain caused by PFPS.
Since it can be caused by a variety of factors, identifying those specific factors is important.
This will improve the effectiveness of treatment.
Common interventions for treatment of PFPS can be:
- Manual therapy- muscle & soft tissue releases, mobilisation of the patellofemoral joint
- Strapping/Taping of the patella (knee cap)
- Exercise Therapy – Strength & conditioning of the hip & quadricep muscles, trunk & core stability.
- Treating the Iliotibial band (Press Here To Learn More) to improve joint mechanics
- Activity modification – such as adjusting your bike seat to unload the knee joint, utilising your gluteal (buttock) muscles to offload the quadricepsmuscles when walking uphill and many other small tweaks that can help to get the joint settled down.
If you are experiencing this kind of problem and want to know what you can do about it, visit your nearest Core Physiotherapy and Pilates Studio to get a thorough assessment and treatment by a Physiotherapist.
This blog was written by Adrian Potter from the Aberfoyle Park practice