Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee is a very common problem, with as many as one in three young adults suffering from the condition. It is often caused by an imbalance in the muscles surrounding the knee which in turn affect the knee cap (patella) and cartilage within the joint. The kneecap lies in a grove and is shaped to move up and down in the centre of this grove when you bend and straighten your knee. If the muscles and ligaments surrounding your knee are imbalanced it can result in the kneecap moving away from the centre of the grove. This mal-tracking of the patella is what contributes to the pain people experience. There are lots of theories as to why these muscle imbalances occur and whilst it may not be fully understood fortunately the diagnosis and treatment of this condition is relatively straight forward.
For those of you that have suffered with patellofemoral pain syndrome will experience pain which can be accompanied by a clicking or grinding sensation in the front of your knee and behind the kneecap. The pain is usually most noticeable with activity, with the amount of activity varying depending on the severity of the condition. Some suffers will also notice a dull ache when going from sit to stand if you have been sat for a while.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a condition we see frequently within the clinic. Diagnosis is made by taking a history and performing an orthopaedic examination with imaging being very rarely required. Treatment is aimed at resolving the muscle imbalances through the use of soft tissue work and rehabilitation, resulting in the majority of patients being able to return to all activities pain free