The term “patellofemoral” arises from the two terms, “patella” (kneecap) and “femur” (thigh bone). The patellofemoral joint is where the back of the patella meets the femur at the front of the knee. As the name suggests, patellofemoral pain or patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is characterised by pain arising from the patellofemoral joint itself or the soft tissue surrounding it.
Also known as the “runner’s knee”, the differential diagnosis includes chondromalacia patellae and patellar tendinopathy. Although the symptoms are similar, neither of these falls under the PFPS umbrella. Alternative treatments are available due to differences in pathophysiology.
More often than not, patellofemoral pain has multifactorial causes. However, one of the most prevalent causes is patellar orientation, or its alignment. A different orientation of the patella may cause it to glide more towards one side of the femur, resulting in overuse of that part of the femur and thus resulting in pain, discomfort, or irritation.
The causes provoking PFPS may be intrinsic or extrinsic.
Intrinsic factors include:
Extrinsic factors include
It is vital to keep in mind the major risk factors.
The following steps may help in preventing the pain:
Wall stretch for the hamstrings
Front leg raises with straight legs
Try for 8–12 repetitions.
The circles should be medium-sized. Do 3 sets of this exercise.
Step-Ups on the Sides
This exercise requires a platform. If you don’t have one, you can use a step.
Try for 3 sets of 15 step-ups.