Runner’s knee, often referred to as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) in the medical community, is undoubtedly one of the most popular forms of knee pain experienced throughout the world, especially among athletes, individuals who do physical labor, older adults, and active teenagers. It isn’t a specific injury but rather a broad term that refers to the pain you experience when you have one of the multiple knee problems.
There are a variety of causes of patellofemoral pain syndrome, including:
Physical therapists create individualized treatment plans for individuals with PFPS to assist them in reducing their pain, restoring normal movement, and preventing future injury. If you are diagnosed with PFPS, your program may consist of:
These exercises target the muscles of the thigh and buttocks, the quadriceps, and the ankle. When these muscles are strong, they help to reduce pressure on the knees and allow you to carry out your day-to-day activities in a pain-free way.
Depending on your activity level, your physical therapist may show you ideal positioning and form when doing certain activities like transitioning from a sitting position to a standing position, squatting, stair climbing, or lunging, to reduce extra pressure on the kneecap.
Your physical therapist will select specific stretching exercises that will stretch the muscles of the knee, hip, and ankle. When you make these muscles flexible through stretching exercises, you minimize any unnecessary pressure on both the kneecap and knee joint.
Repetitive activities and overuse are the main cause of PFPS. An experienced physcal therapist can educate you on ideal cross-training methods to lower pressure on your knees.
Your physical therapist may decide to support the kneecap using tape to minimize your pain and rehabilitate your muscles to work properly. There is a wide range of knee taping types and techniques; certain kinds of tape alleviate pain by aligning the kneecap while others offer moderate support to sore tissues surrounding it. In some cases, a brace may be used to support the knee in the correct position to guarantee proper healing.
If your knee pain is caused by foot and arch misalignment, your physical therapist may customize a shoe insert known as orthosis for you. This innovative shoe insert can reduce the pressure to your knee exerted by disorders of the feet.
Runner’s knee or PFPS is preventable – your physical therapist can teach you tactics for adjusting your day-to-day activities to protect your knees. They can also show you workout routines to perform at home to make your bones and muscles strong, which helps in preventing PFPS. Treating this condition is much easier when it is detected in its early stages. Therefore, if you are feeling abnormal knee pain, consult with one of the trained physical therapists at Blue Hills Sports & Spine Rehabilitation to get started on a rehabilitation program as soon as possible.