Patellofemoral pain syndrome is one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries. It accounts for approximately 25% of all knee injuries and occurs in both sporting and sedentary people.
The diagnosis covers a range of symptoms around, under or behind the kneecap due to poor biomechanical loading of structures in the area. Typically, patients complain of pain with running / walking, negotiating stairs, squatting and after periods of prolonged knee flexion such as sitting. PFPS patients generally present with poor strength and control of their hip stabilising muscles, tight lateral structures of the hip and thigh and delayed onset of vastus medialis oblique (VMO) muscle firing.
PFPS is often described as maltracking of the patella due to an imbalance of muscles around the kneecap. This oversimplifies the issue and recent evidence suggests weakness and lack of control around the hip is the underlying cause. In truth, it is unlikely one mechanism results in PFPS, but several maladaptive biomechanical patterns that overload the structures around the kneecap.
A thorough assessment of the biomechanics of the whole lower limb should be conducted. All successful treatment plans will be based on individual assessment findings. Recipe based treatment will rarely succeed. A large emphasis is placed on a guided exercise program to address biomechanics and loading patterns for the knee. Several self management strategies such as the use of a foam roller and taping of the kneecap can be employed. Premium Physiotherapy can guide your return to sporting activities through a graduated exercise program.