Knee: Patellofemoral pain syndrome

What is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is a term used to describe pain arising from the joint between the patella (kneecap) and the femur (thigh bone). Some causes of PSPS include trauma, overload from an increase in activity and/or bio-mechanical changes causing mal-tracking of the patella in the groove made by the femur.

PFPS is a very common cause of pain in the front of the knee. It commonly presents as pain around or under the kneecap which comes on when performing activity such as walking, running, going up and down stairs, squatting, jumping or sitting for prolonged periods.

How can Physiotherapy help?

PFJS is a multi-factorial condition with many possible causes and contributing factors! That is why it is very important to have a thorough assessment by your Physiotherapist and to obtain a treatment plan that is individualized to you depending on the assessment findings and your clinical history.

Exercises are very commonly prescribed to treat PFJS. These classically have looked at quadriceps and hip muscle strengthening. This systematic review by Lack et al shows their is evidence that exercise therapy is beneficial in reducing pain and improving function in patients with PFJS and that hip muscle and lower limb strengthening exercises combined may be more effective than quadriceps strengthening alone for this condition.

Other interventions such as taping, bracing and foot orthoses can also be beneficial and a combined approach to treating PFJS is one of six recommendations outlined in this paper from the International Patellofemoral pain research retreat this year.
If you have any questions related to Patellofemoral pain or the above articles then please contact the clinic.

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