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Knee Pain, Knee Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome Causes Treatments Prevention, I'move, Imove, Physical Therapy, Physical Therapists Near Me, Runners Knee

Patellofemoral Pain: Causes, Treatments, & Prevention Methods

One of the leading causes of knee pain is a condition known as knee patellofemoral pain syndrome. Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee, is characterized by pain in the front of the knee due to inflammation of the articular surfaces of the patella and femur. It is the most common injury among runners. Women are at a greater risk of developing patellofemoral pain syndrome than men. While some people experience mild discomfort, others may have severe pain that affects their daily activities. In this blog post, we will discuss the primary causes of knee patellofemoral pain, how it is treated, and the prevention methods you can adopt to ensure that you avoid this condition.

What are the typical causes?

Knee patellofemoral pain can occur due to a variety of factors. It is often associated with hip and gluteal musculature weakness. This weakness can impact the mechanics seen during tasks such as squatting and running. As a result, it is believed that these mechanical changes place greater strain on the knee and lead to breakdown of the cartilage in the joint. Overuse and training plan errors are often associated with this as well. Runners who lack variability in their training plan and do not integrate a strengthening program are often at a higher risk of developing symptoms.

What are the best treatments?

There are various strategies one can implement to treat patellofemoral pain syndrome. Initially, physical activities should be modified to reduce pain in the knee. Running plans and strength training programs should be modified in a way where knee pain is mild at its worst. For a running plan, this can include reducing total mileage, decreasing pace, or introducing a run/walk interval during the run. Physical therapy can be a helpful tool when recovering from patellofemoral pain syndrome. A physical therapist will be able to identify mobility restrictions, weakness, or mechanical faults that are leading to the onset of symptoms and set up a treatment program to address those impairments. This likely incorporates manual therapy techniques, strengthening drills, mobility work, biomechanics training, and taping to reduce symptoms and get the individual back to completing physical activities without pain.

How can you prevent this injury?

There are numerous strategies to reduce the risk of developing patellofemoral pain syndrome. Individuals who participate in repetitive movements, such as running and cycling, should look to add variability to their training plan. This includes incorporating strengthening drills into their program to address any weakness and reduce mechanical stress in the knee. Having variability within the running program can be beneficial as well. This includes building in a “rest week” where mileage has reduced significantly. Individuals should also focus on maintaining good mobility at the hip, knee, and ankle.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome can be very uncomfortable, but with the right treatment and prevention methods, the risk of developing it can be reduced. Understanding the causes and treatments can help you manage the pain, and taking preventative measures can reduce the risk of future pain and discomfort. When experiencing knee pain, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible to avoid severe or chronic knee injuries. If you are an athlete or engage in physical activities frequently, it is important to pay attention to your body and modify your training program whenever necessary.

Schedule a consultation with one of our physical therapists today to get started on your journey to being pain-free!

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