Running Injuries: Knee

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

What is it?

PFPS is a term used to describe pain on the anterior aspect of your knee. It is most commonly present due a muscular imbalance throughout the leg.

What are the symptoms of PFPS?

PFPS pain is on the anterior aspect of the knee is often central to the kneecap. PFPS pain is usually described as dull and achy at rest, but much sharper and intense on activity. The common activities that trigger PFPS are running, stairs (down is usually more painful than up), squatting and jumping. In PFPS the pain is often easily located and palpable.

What is the treatment for PFPS?

Once your PFPS has been diagnosed, treatment will typically consist of a tailored strengthening programme targeting the weak muscles of your legs and decreasing the tightness of overworked muscles. The use of some manual therapy may be beneficial in the acute stages in order to reduce pain.

Load management will also be an important factor in your rehab programme. Reducing your weekly mileage or activity levels during your recovery process may be necessary to return to full fitness.

In some cases it would be beneficial to undergo a Running Video Analysis to assess your technique. This will give your Physiotherapist a greater understanding of your loading strategies and how best to help you return to a pain free state.

What’s the prognosis?

PFPS prognosis is very variable, the pain can ease up quite quickly, especially if it is a recent injury. However, in more persistent cases the pain can take longer. Most cases take between 6-8 weeks of rehabilitation.

Exercises for PFPS

Click the link below to see some great exercises for PFPS