Knee pain could be due to Patellofemoral pain [PFP] or Patellofemoral joint syndrome!
What is Patellofemoral pain syndrome [PFP]?
PFP is pain occurring behind the knee cap on doing activities such as going downstairs specifically , running or kneeling. The pain is often sharp and can stop you from doing the activity. There may be associated swelling and tenderness around the knee cap and the surrounding muscles. According to Sports Medicine Australia:
The most common overuse injuries are patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee), iliotibial band friction syndrome, plantar fasciitis, meniscal injuries, tibial stress syndrome and patellar tendinopathy.
How is Patellofemoral pain caused?
Repetitive activities such as squatting, running,jumping, skipping can lead to inflammation or swelling. This is of the tendon that attaches the knee cap to the bone of your leg. A band of tissue called the Ilio-Tibial Band [ITB] attaches all the way from the buttock muscle to the knee cap. The ITB can get very tight with repetitive movements. This in turn, can cause the knee cap to be pulled side ways leading to friction under the knee cap. This can then create swelling or inflammation under the knee cap. As a result there’s pain with the above movements.
How is Patellofemoral pain syndrome treated?
Physiotherapy is the main course of treatment for this condition. This is a very common condition in athletes but can also affect people who do repetitive squatting and kneeling. It is also a common problem occurring in individuals suffering from Arthritis.
Physios will do a complete assessment of your pain and may use the following techniques to help reduce pain, improve the muscle flexibility and strengthen the joint:
- Joint mobilisation
- Massage around the adjoining muscles especially the ITB
- Taping the knee cap to reduce friction under the joint surface
- Strengthen the muscles to prevent further injury
If you are feeling pain in and around the knee cap,it’s best to get an accurate diagnosis of your condition by a Physiotherapist and get treated as soon as possible. Remember,pain is not normal. The longer you leave a condition untreated, the longer it can take to recover from it.