Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
The patella is the kneecap and patellofemoral pain syndrome is a broad term used to describe pain in the front of the knee and around the patella. Sometimes, called runners knee or jumper’s knee because it is common in people who perform activities or participate in athletics where they place a lot of impact on their knee.
‘Runner’s knee’ or ‘jumper’s knee’ is a term used to describe the conditions and injuries caused by repetitive impact and motion – such as those motions associated with running, jogging, or walking and are usually caused by muscular imbalance. Weaker muscle groups around the knee are affected by the movement or pulling from stronger muscle groups, which results in pain. Patellar tendonitis is one of the most common injuries to the knee and is often caused by repetitive jumping accompanied by a hard landing, made worse by poor flexibilities and weak or overused muscles.
Common signs and symptoms of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome are:
- Pain during exercise or everyday activities that involve bending the knee repeatedly
- Pain when climbing or ascending stairs, squatting, running, or jumping
- Pain after keeping the knee bent for extended periods of time – driving or sitting in a chair
- Cracking or popping sounds when moving the knee joint after inactivity or when standing from a sitting position
Learn more about patellofemoral pain syndrome here.
If your knee pain is relatively recent or if you think it may be due to an injury, your pain may clear up through the following actions:
- Rest the leg and knee associated with the pain and/or injury
- Treat the area with a cold pack – use for 10 to 20 minutes. Do not freeze the skin.
- Avoid heat – this is will cause increased swelling and pain
- Avoid athletic participation or any other activity that may cause further strain or injury
- Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to treat the immediate pain
If you choose to treat your knee pain or injury at home, you must be sure you do not re-injury or cause further damage to the knee. However, other times the injury is too great and will need to be examined by an orthopedic surgeon. If conservative non-surgical therapies do not help, surgical options are available and should be discussed.