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Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

1st September 2018

Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as chondromalacia patella or anterior knee pain, is a common injury amongst runners both experienced and beginner. It is an overuse injury that is difficult to determine, but could be a result of biomechanics or muscular faults. The condition is not limited to one knee and can be linked to other injuries.

Symptoms of PFPS

Pain is the most common symptom associated with the condition and usually displays itself through a dull ache, which is made worse by bending or putting pressure on the knee. Sitting down, climbing stairs or walking up a hill are all known to irritate the condition.

Other symptoms include tenderness behind or around the kneecap and a feeling that your knee is cracking or going to give out.

Treatment

Certain stretches and exercises have been known to ease the pain caused by PFPS, but because the condition is related to biomechanics, permanent changes will need to be made to stop recurrences. The first change should be to strip back how much activity you take part in to lessen the strain on your knee. You can reintroduce the amount of activity you do over the healing process but it is important you do not take on too much as you’ll just end up injuring yourself again.

A physiotherapist will be able to determine any problems with your gait and suggest suitable changes to improve it. For example, it might be as simple as buying some new running shoes or orthotics or sticking to a programme of physical therapy.

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