Patellofemoral pain is pain that is felt anywhere around or behind the kneecap. It can also be referred to as ‘Runner’s knee’ or ‘Patellofemoral syndrome’. It is a common knee complaint and accounts for around 1/6 of all patient visits to sports medicine clinics (Barton, Lack, Hemmings, Tufail, & Morrissey, 2015).
Patients will typically complain of pain which occurs:
- Going up and down stairs
- Running or jumping
- Rising after sitting
- When the kneecap itself is touched/poked
Patellofemoral pain is multifactorial, meaning there can be many different contributors to developing this issue (Barton et al., 2015) including:
- Recent change in activity levels
- Weakness or decreased control of muscles around the hip
- Weakness or decreased control of muscles in the thigh
- Foot rolling ‘in’ during walking or running
- The structure of your knee
- Poor bio-mechanics that cause the kneecap to move towards the outside of the knee under load
- Other underlying health issues
The consensus from the latest research into treatment for patellofemoral pain advises using an approach that incorporates a number of different treatments that target your specific issues (Crossley et al., 2016).
Your physiotherapist may prescribe the following treatments based on their assessment of your particular needs:
- Education about patellofemoral pain
- Advice about how to manage and safely build up your activity levels including plans for return to sport
- Exercises to increase muscle strength around the hip including gluteal (buttock) strengthening
- Exercises to increase thigh muscle (quadriceps) strength
- Taping to support the kneecap
- Provision of orthotic supports for your feet
- Hands-on therapy
Your Physiotherapist will also liaise with any health professionals currently giving you treatment and, where appropriate, refer you to other professionals as required.
Have you been experiencing pain anywhere around or behind your kneecap? Book an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists! Call us on 9908 1949 or book below.