Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellar Tendinopathy diagram

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

What is Patellofemoral pain syndrome?

Patellar Tendinopathy diagram

Figure 1. Source: InjuryMap

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is an umbrella term used for pain arising from the area in Figure 1. It is a chronic condition that affects the surrounding joint and soft tissue and is usually aggravating with walking up and down stairs, squatting, and running.


How does it happen?

PFPS is multifactorial and will depend on each individual. Main causes include:

  • Overuse and overload
  • Anatomical and biomechanical abnormalities
  • Muscular weakness, imbalances, or weakness

A common cause of PFPS is patellar orientation and alignment. When this is observed this can cause the patella to glide to one side more than the other which can cause an overuse to the part of the knee joint that can result in pain, discomfort, or irritation.

What symptoms are associated with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

Typically, you will feel pain and discomfort around the patella (kneecap) which gets worse during repetitive activity. These include:

  • Running
  • Squatting
  • Walking up and down stairs
  • Jumping and landing

What can I do to make my knee feel better?

Runners Knee, Jumpers Knee, Kneecap Pain, Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, Patella Tracking DisorderA Physiotherapist can help you identify and muscular imbalances that may be pulling the patella into a different orientation causing pain and discomfort. Once these imbalances are identified the Physiotherapist will prescribe specific exercises to help assist with fixing these imbalances to protect and strengthen the knee joint.

Other treatment options can include, soft tissue treatment, and taping to assist with stabilisation of the patellofemoral joint.

How can a Physiotherapist help?

A Physiotherapist will provide a comprehensive assessment of the affected knee and will identify potential causes as to why the knee is presenting this way. The Physiotherapist will then provide treatment through various modalities to assist with recovery and long-term management.

Post by: Physiotherapist  Ray Palencia