What is it?
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is commonly referred to as ‘runner’s knee’ and is associated with pain at the front of your kneecap.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is one of the most common knee complaints, given this joint is easily subjected to a number of high repetitive stresses during day to day activities.
It usually accounts for roughly 1 in 4 knee injuries, typically seen in the young, active sportsperson, women as well as the elderly.
What are the symptoms?
The onset of patellofemoral pain syndrome is typically gradual and more evident when weight bearing or during activities that involve knee bending.
The most common presenting symptoms are:
- Aching pain at the front of the knee
- Pain when running (particularly up hills)
- Pain when squatting, hopping, kneeling or climbing
- Pain when using stairs
- An uncomfortable feeling after sitting for long periods of time
Why did I get it?
Most patients who present with patellofemoral pain syndrome generally have one or more of the following risk factors:
- Poor foot posture (pronated foot type)
- Weak hamstring or quadricep muscles
- Knocked knees
- Flexible knees
- High levels of physical activity (most common in runners and basketball players)
How is it diagnosed?
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is diagnosed through taking a detailed history as well as a clinical examination. Your podiatrist will first rule out other knee pathologies that may present with similar symptoms.
Whilst a thorough clinical examination is usually sufficient in providing a diagnosis, you may be referred for radiographic imaging of the knee to assist in confirming.
How can I treat it?
Patellofemoral pain syndrome treatment and rehabilitation is centred on identifying the root cause, reducing the symptoms and strengthening the muscles which may have contributed to the injury.
Possible treatments that our podiatrist’s may implement include:
- Rest, ice, anti-inflammatories
- Patella bracing
- Mobilisation of the joint
- Dry needling
- Release of lateral muscles
- Strengthening program
- Custom orthotics
- Footwear advice
Providing compliance, most individuals find they respond incredibly well to the treatments listed above, allowing patients to continue to reach their personal goals.
Need help to resolve your runner’s knee?
Book your appointment with one of our podiatrists now!