Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Anterior knee pain can be debilitating and frustrating to manage and resolve. One of the most common knee disorders, presenting as anterior knee pain, is patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). The source of pain in PFPS comes from irritation to the bony surfaces on the under side of the patella and/or the femur, where it sits.
This pain is most commonly felt during activities such as running; squatting; stair-climbing, particularly on descent; and kneeling. Noted knee stiffness with prolonged sitting is also a common complaint, as well as a feeling of giving way and a “grinding” sensation with movement.
The underlying causes of PFPS are variable and can come from unwanted biomechanical and muscular asymmetries at the hip, knee and/or foot, causing various compressive forces and patella maltracking. Correcting these asymmetries is the key to resolving the pain.
Treatment techniques used to treat PFPS will differ from person to person, due to differences in joint alignment and muscular tightness/weakness. It is important for your physio to conduct a thorough assessment to determine the appropriate strategies to manage your specific injury. Early assessment and diagnosis will improve prognosis and reduce the time frame to becoming pain-free.
Treatment techniques may include:
Soft tissue massage
Patella joint mobilisations
Taping / Bracing
Movement technique changes
Whilst PFPS is one of the more common causes of anterior knee pain, it is just one of many possible causes, including patella tendinopathy; fat pad impingement; meniscal injury; ligamentous injury; bursitis; fracture; or malignancy.
If you have been experiencing any anterior knee pain, book a comprehensive physio assessment to get back to being pain-free.