Do you have Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome? Here's how to treat Runner's Knee

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome


Anterior knee pain, medically referred to as patellofemoral pain, presents across the front of the knee. Those with anterior knee pain can find activities such as the stairs, running, jumping, and standing up from a chair provocative. They will also dislike their knee being bent for a prolonged period of time.

The patellofemoral joint acts as a lever. The knee cap, or patella, is a disc shaped bone that runs up and down a groove at the end of the thigh bone, or femur.

The control of the joint is entirely dependent upon the surrounding structures. These include soft tissues such as your ITB which runs down the outer edge of the thigh, and your quadriceps muscles which run down the front of your thigh and over your patella. Good control of your trunk, hip and foot also allow you efficient movement of this joint.

An imbalance in any of these structures can lead to a dysfunctional movement pattern whereby the patella no longer runs smoothly up and down in its groove.

Perhaps one of your quadriceps muscles is weaker than the others. Or your hip has a tendency to rotate inwards.

The key to treating your patellofemoral pain is addressing the mechanics of how your whole lower limb and body work. The strength, control and flexibility of your hip, knee and foot must be analysed.

Monitor the alignment of your leg. Ensure your knee travels directly forward over your toes when you squat, stand from a chair, or go up and down stairs.

Patellofemoral pain responds excellently to conservative treatments. This can include stretches to improve flexibility, strengthening exercises to enhance control, and proprioceptive exercises to refine your balance. Perform these exercises little and often throughout the day.

Addressing all areas of your trunk and lower limb is vital to the recovery of your patellofemoral pain.

Build the control around your knee with balance exercises. This will promote better synchronicity between your knee and other joints, and ultimately enhance the function of your lower limb, getting you back to doing what you love.

Alternatively, you can purchase one of our Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome rehabilitation programmes below, full of information about how best to get rid of your pain, become more active and get back to doing what you love to do


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Arun Gray sports therapist strength and conditioning coach skegness

The author

Arun Gray is a sports therapist and strength & conditioning coach with over 15 years experience in the industry. He also has a personal history with chronic shoulder and back pain along with a range of other sporting injuries.

Arun writes about common injuries and aims to help people understand and manage their pain to prevent having to rely on national healthcare.

Read more about Arun