Runner’s knee, anterior knee pain, chondromalacia patella
They refer to the same problem: pain in the front of the knee. Patellofemoral pain, also known as “runner’s knee,” is a common condition that affects the knee joint. It is characterised by pain in the front of the knee and around the patella (kneecap). This pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp, stabbing sensation, and can be accompanied by swelling and stiffness in the joint.
The exact cause of patellofemoral pain is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to the way the patella moves within the joint. When the knee is bent and straightened, the patella glides along a groove in the thigh bone (femur). In some individuals, the patella may not track correctly in this groove, which can lead to irritation and inflammation of the tissue surrounding the patella.
Risk factors of PFPS
Risk factors for developing patellofemoral pain include:
- Overuse, such as from running, cycling or jumping sports
- Weakness in the muscles around the knee, particularly the quadriceps and hip muscles
- Traumatic event such as falling on your knees
- Previous knee injury
- Rapid increase in activity level or intensity
How do you diagnose PFPS?
To diagnose patellofemoral pain, a healthcare provider will typically take a medical history and conduct a physical examination of the knee. Imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI, may also be ordered to rule out other conditions and to help determine the severity of the injury.
Treatment for patellofemoral pain typically involves a combination of relative rest, Physiotherapy, and medications to manage pain and inflammation.
Treatment for PFPS
Physiotherapy may include exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee and hip as well as improving the control around the hip and knee joint.
Other preventative measures include:
- Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of physical activity
- Strengthening the hip and knee muscles regularly, with exercises that are specific to your sport
In most cases, patellofemoral pain can be treated successfully with non-surgical methods.
In conclusion, patellofemoral pain is a common condition that can affect anyone, but it is particularly common in people who engage in physical activities that put a lot of stress on the knee. It is important to address the pain early on and to take steps to prevent it from recurring. With proper treatment, most people with patellofemoral pain can return to their normal activities and enjoy a pain-free life.
Unsure of what to do? Contact us to speak to our Physiotherapist who will be able to ascertain the source of pain and have it addressed early!