Could That Nagging Knee Pain be Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?
Also known as: Runner’s Knee, Jumper’s Knee, Anterior Knee Pain Syndrome
This injury is categorized by dull, aching pain on the front part of the knee on the kneecap (patella). Under most circumstances, this injury roots from a series of situations and physical activities including running, sitting for too long, squatting, changing footwear/surfaces, and jumping. You may have altered your exercise habits and increased the duration or intensity of said activity, which could be the cause of your pain. While this injury is commonly associated with exercise, patellofemoral pain syndrome also stems from anatomical or gait inconsistencies. Ultimately, the physical therapists at Mid-County Physical Therapy assess the joint and treat this knee pain, whatever the cause, and provide a unique treatment to improve and manage the injury.
The knee joint is a complex hinge-joint comprised of the femur (thigh bone), patella (kneecap) and the tibia (shin bone). When in proper anatomical form, the kneecap rests in a groove (Trochlear Groove) on the femur, and glides during knee flexion and extension. Issues concerning the patellar placement in the groove can cause Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.
There are also muscles, tendons, and ligaments that hold the knee together. In some cases, weakness in these parts can also contribute to knee pain. Learn more about the constituents of the knee here.
How Can You Treat Some of the Symptoms?
Some of the remedies to abate the symptoms are readily available in your very own household. Medical professionals everywhere encourage patients to implement the RICE method. Rice stands for:
- Rest – Limit or completely stop the activity that aggravates the knee pain, and maybe switch to low-impact exercises.
- Ice – Without putting ice directly on the skin, apply a cold pack for approximately 20 minutes.
- Compression – With a compression bandage or a specialized brace (and direction from a professional), wrap the knee to prevent swelling. Make sure to leave a hole for the patella and wrap the knee gently.
- Elevate – When resting, lift the knee so that it is raised higher than your heart.
NSAIDS, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, can also provide short-term pain relief. We encourage you to receive an assessment from the physical therapist if the pain continues or increases in intensity.
Mid-County Physical Therapy Can Help You
During your one-on-one evaluation with the skilled therapist at Mid-County Physical Therapy, they will get to know you and your physical habits to help establish a foundation for your treatment. They will monitor and document your range of motion, gait habits, and current pain-level to get a better idea of what they can do for your improvement. Before you receive treatment, it can also be beneficial to document some things such as:
- What movements cause it?
- When does it begin during activity?
- How long does it last?
- Have your home remedies stopped working?
- Do you want to maintain or improve your current fitness level?
- What are your goals?
Keeping track of this information can be essential for both you and your physical therapist.
Mid-County Physical Therapy also offers a wide variety of treatments to treat and heal your pain. Your condition could improve with a strengthening plan, which the therapist constructs based off of your individual experience. The clinic’s open-plan gym includes equipment to suit your strengthening needs while our technicians monitor to encourage proper form and maximum pain relief.
If the therapist determines you may need gait retraining, they will create a personal plan to work individually with you on form and techniques. Our clinic is also proud to offer dry-needling, kinesio taping, and even the BioQPulse. Call or contact us today to learn more about our treatment plans.