What is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome, sometimes known as runner's knee, is a term that doctors use to refer to ongoing pain in the knee. Most people feel this pain in the front of the kneecap, although some people experience pain behind the kneecap or around the knee. Read on to learn everything you need to know about patellofemoral pain syndrome.

What are the Symptoms of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome causes pain that is triggered by walking, running, kneeling, squatting or getting up from a chair. For many people, the pain is particularly bad when they walk downhill or down a flight of stairs.

In addition to pain, many people have swelling around the knee. You might also hear a grinding or popping sound when you move the knee.

What Causes Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

Overuse is the most common cause of knee pain. Activities that involve repeatedly bending and straightening the knee while bearing weight on it, such as running or squatting, can trigger patellofemoral pain syndrome.

Certain risk factors make it more likely that you will develop patellofemoral pain when you start a new exercise regime. For example, flat feet and hypermobile feet both increase the amount of stress on your knees when you walk or run. Inserts in your shoes might help to reduce this strain, helping you to recover from knee pain.

Weak thigh muscles also make patellofemoral pain more likely. If you attend a knee rehabilitation clinic, you might be given exercises to do to build up your thigh muscles so they can protect your knee.

How to Treat Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

It is very important to get treatment for ongoing knee pain. Ignoring the pain can lead to a reduction in your ability to run or even walk. Contact a knee rehabilitation clinic to get the help you need to recover from knee pain.

At home, there are things you can do to reduce knee pain. Rest is essential to give your knee a chance to recover, so take a break from your usual training routine until the pain has gone. Instead of running or weightlifting, gently stretch the quadriceps muscle on the front of your thigh and do any strengthening exercises that your doctor has recommended to you.

Applying ice to the knee and taking anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can help to bring down swelling in the knee. Some people find relief when wearing a support sleeve to protect the knee, but be sure not to use such devices as a crutch to allow you to push through pain. Rest is essential for recovery.

To learn more about patellofemoral pain syndrome, contact a knee rehabilitation clinic in your area.