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Patellofemoral pain syndrome is one of the most common disorders of the knee.  It is usually characterized by pain in or around the patella (kneecap).  The pain is usually more noticeable when going up or down stairs, squatting, kneeling or running.  It can also be aggravated by long periods of sitting with knees bent. Swelling is not a common feature of this disorder.


The pain associated with this condition is usually the result of the patella not tracking smoothly on the underlying bone (femur) when the knee is bent and straightened.  There are usually a combination of factors that contribute to cause patello-femoral pain syndrome. 

Main contributing factors 
  • Recent changes to; activity, footwear, training duration
  • Tight gastrocnemius and soleus muscles (calves)
  • Weak Quads, especially VMO
Treatment for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
  • RICE – rest, ice, compression & elevation
  • Activity modification or reduction
  • Soft tissue massage & stretching exercise
  • If biomechanics is a contributory cause – orthotics may be considered
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  (Nurofen etc)
What can you do?
  • Reduce or modify current activities
  • Gradually resume normal activity as symptoms resolve
  • Ice after training/ activity 15 minutes on, 2 hours off, 15 minutes on
  • Footwear assessment – it may be time for a new pair
  • Stretch your lower leg muscles – but not to the point that it causes pain
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