Patella-Femoral Pain Syndrome

Patella-Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) is one of the most common and most challenging injuries a runner – and others- might face. What makes it challenging is it’s complexity and sensitivity. It can be hard to pin down the exact cause and easy to aggravate.


Pain is typically felt under or around the patella, not down the outside of the leg into ITB or lower down in the joint line of the knee. It is usually aggravated by activities with high PF load – squatting, lunging, kneeling, going down stairs, running, especially downhill. It is also often aggravated by prolonged periods of flexion, especially sitting long periods. This is sometimes called movie goers knee or movie goers sign. Usually there is no true locking or giving way of the knee and minimal swelling. The knee may feel stiff but usually has full range of movement. There may also be clicking or grinding

(Self-) Treatment usually involves:

  1. relative rest: reduce the load. Decrease your running, kneeling, squatting. Unless there is severe pain you do not need to completely rest, but you have to run less: less distance; slower pace; no hills, etc. Or squat less: smaller ROM, less weights, less reps. You get the picture: reduce the load
    1. We can help to reduce the load with taping the knee
  2. Reduce inflammation
    1. Ice, medication, gentle exercises and compression
  3. Improve flexibility: foam rolling dynamic/static stretching
  4. Improve motor control and strength, by gradually loading the lower extremity

What is important as well is to look at the ankle and hip and even the low back, the entire kinetic chain needs to be addressed. So PFPS is complex and you need to seek qualified help to assist you with this condition that easily can be come very chronic

The running-physio has some great information on this subject

Read More: http://www.running-physio.com/pfps1/


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