what is patellofemoral pain syndrome ?
what causes Patellofemoral pain syndrome ?
- Because the patella can move around and tilt depending on the exercise, an individual can irritate the area around the knee by performing repetitive activities that apply stress to the knee joint, leading to pain.
- An abnormality in the way the lower leg lines up with the hip, knee, and foot can also interfere with the ability of the patella to glide smoothly on the femur (the bone that connects the knee to the thigh) during movement. This "malalignment" can lead to overloading of the joint, generally on the outside of the knee. This abnormal lateral tracking can be painful and lead to accelerated wear between the surfaces of the bones. Eventually, the protective articular cartilage surface over the bone can wear away, leading to arthritic degeneration (http://www.hopkinsortho.org/patellofemoralpain.html).
- Tightness of the hamstrings and iliotibial band, and weakness of the quadriceps and hip muscles can also be contributing factors for PFPS.
what are symptoms of patellofemoral pain syndrome ?
- Dull, aching pain under or around the front of the kneecap where it connects with the lower end of the thighbone
- Pain occurs when walking up or down stairs
- Kneeling, squatting, and sitting with a bent knee for a long period of time
- Clicking or popping of the knee
how do you treat patellofemoral pain syndrome ?
- Avoid aggravating activities such as prolonged sitting
- Perform exercises to strengthen the quadriceps and hip muscles
- Include stretching exercises for the hip, hamstrings, calf, and iliotibial band. The use of a foam roller may help in adding flexibility
- R.I.C.E: Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate
- Knee taping to stabilize the knee
- Proper footwear for arch support
- Your doctor can also recommend some OTC anti-inflammatory drugs to decrease the swelling or stiffness