What is causing your knee pain?
PFPS refers to pain at the front, in and around the knee. Tenderness is usually associated with the pain. The pain is usually associated with prolonged sitting, squatting, stair climbing and running. Some contributing factors to PFPS are muscle imbalances and weakness, overuse, soft tissue tightness and poor lower limb alignment (abnormal tracking of the patella being pulled too far laterally).
Treatment for PFPS includes exercise, patella taping, foot orthoses, manual therapy, electrotherapy, biofeedback and pharmacology. There are some surgical options such as lateral release, however conservative management is the first option. Studies have shown that with an exercise program patients can decrease their pain, improve activity levels and muscle function. Studies have shown that exercise programs that include strengthening the hip musculature help to decrease pain by improving proximal and distal alignment which helps to reduce load on the patellofemoral joint.
While not all knee pain is caused by PFPS, it would be wise to see your local physical therapist if you have knee pain that prevents you from daily activities. With an exercise program and tapping you can get back to doing the activities that you love.
Melissa Kite, PTA
Utah Physical Therapy, West Haven