Patellofemoral pain is one of the most common causes of anterior (front) knee pain.
As described in its name, the syndrome indicates pain coming from the patellofemoral joint (the joint between the knee cap and thigh bone).
What causes patellofemoral pain?
The knee cap (patella) should glide freely in the groove on the femur (thigh bone) as the knee flexes & extends. Normally, the patella is aligned in the middle of the patellofemoral joint so that forces applied to the knee cap during activity are evenly distributed.
In patellofemoral pain syndrome the patella is typically misaligned. This may be caused by various factors such as tight or weak muscles that attach to the patella or poor movement patterns. This misalignment places stress through the patellofemoral joint during activity causing tissue damage and inflammation.
Symptoms of Patellofemoral syndrome:
- Pain typically at the front of the knee, in & around the knee cap
- Pain is worse with activity walking, running, squatting, lunging
- Pain during long periods of sitting
How can physiotherapy help with Patellofemoral syndrome?
Physiotherapy treatment for patellofemoral pain syndrome is vital and may compromise of soft tissue massage, patella taping, joint mobilisation (stretching), acupuncture and biomechanical correction. Most importantly, physiotherapy can help you with specific stretching & strengthening exercises all aiming to re-align the patella.