The patellofemoral pain syndrome is a very common knee problem, especially among athletes and older people. Also women and teenagers have a higher risk in developing Patellofemoral pain syndrome.

It’s the most common form of knee pain under the knee cap.

Fortuanatly you can treat it quite easily with 4 exercises. This treatment is based on the latest research.

And the best part is that you can do these exercises by yourself at home.

The patellofemoral pain syndrome recovery time with these exercises is about 4 weeks.




To understand how and why it works so well, you first have to know what is causing your patellofemoral pain syndrome.

When you know the cause, you will understand the treatment.

This is everything you’re going to learn:

  1. What is the patellofemoral pain syndrome?
  2. What are the symptoms of the patellofemoral pain syndrome?
  3. What is the cause of the patellofemoral pain syndrome?
  4. What does the patellofemoral pain syndrome treatment looks like?

What is the patellofemoral pain syndrome?

patellofemoral pain syndromeThe patellofemoral pain syndrome is caused by dysfunction of the patellar tracking in your knee.

Your patella or knee cap is located inside your quadriceps tendon and the joint capsule.

Your quadricepstendon is the connection between your quadriceps and your tibia or lower leg.

The knee cap sits in a groove at the end of the thighbone. A layer of cartilage lines underneath your knee cap to smoothen the gliding of the knee cap.

When you bend your knee, your knee cap shifts down your knee and a little bit to the outer of lateral side of your knee. When you extend your knee your knee cap shifts up and a little to the inside or medial side of your knee. This is called normal patellar tracking.

When you suffer from the patellofemoral pain syndrome the gliding of your knee cap when you bend your knee is disturbed. This causes irritation of the joint capsule it’s imbedded in.

The are several things that can cause this problem. I will show you this later.

But first i will show you the symptoms that come with the patellofemoral pain syndrome.

What are the symptoms of the patellofemoral pain syndrome?

The main characteristic of the patellofemoral pain syndrome is pain on the front side of your knee. Usually you feel pain at the lateral side or around your kneecap. Sometimes there may also be pain present under your knee cap.

Pain often occurs during:

  • Sitting for a long period of time with your knee’s flexed.
  • During squatting
  • When you kneel down
  • Pain during walking
  • Pain during walking stairs

These symptoms are caused because of the problems in the patellar tracking. This causes stress on the surrounding tissue, especially in the activities named above.

What is the cause of the patellofemoral pain syndrome?




As you know right now the problem with the patellofemoral pain syndrome is a lack of patellar tracking.

There are 4 possible causes for this:

  • Tight upper leg muscles
  • Weak upper leg muscles
  • Weak hip muscles
  • Tight joint capsule

 

So when you bend your knee, your patella have to slide down with your lower leg. But because it is imbedded inside the tendon of your leg muscles, tight leg muscles will prevent this.

They will keep your patella on its place because the tendon can’t move with because of the tension in your muscles.

Also weak leg muscles cause this problem but now because they can’t pull your patella up enough while extending your knee.

Weak hip muscles change the angle of your knee and knee cap because it causes your hip to drop. This way the forces of your leg muscles are working in the wrong direction, making them insufficient.

The final problem is often tight joint capsule. Because your patella is also imbedded in your joint capsule, tight joint capsule will keep it in place instead of following your leg.

Usually someone with the patellofemoral pain syndrome suffers from all these causes.

That’s why we’re going to solve all these causes.

Because when you don’t do that, the pain is only going to get worse.

So let’s continue.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome exercise treatment

Now you know what is causing your patellofemoral pain syndrome, it is time to treat it the right way.

In a study done in 2017 they found that a combination of treatments works best for solving this problem.

And that is exactly the treatment I will describe here.

This treatment consists of:

  • Increase the mobility of your patella
  • Increase the strenght of your thigh muscles
  • Reduce the tension of your thigh muscles
  • Increasing the strenght of your hip muscles

With every exercise I will explain to you why it works for this problem.

You can also wear a brace to support your knee. This brace will reduce the pressure your patella is putting on your knee and helps to stabilize it. This way your pain will be reduce immediately, which makes it easier for you to perform the exercises.


Patellofemoral pain syndrome exercise 1: Increase the mobility of the patella

The purpose of this first exercise is to increase the mobility of your patella.

As I’ve told you before when you have patellofemoral pain syndrome your patella doesn’t slide up and down the groove in your knee as it should. By performing this exercise you will solve this problem.

This will re reduce the stress on the joint capsule relieving the pain.

Perform the exercise like this:

  • Sit down with you leg straight
  • Place your thumb on the inside of your patella
  • Now push your patella to the outher side
  • Hold this for 10 second
  • Repeat this 10 times.

Try to perform this exercise several times a day. Whitin a few days you should notice that the mobility of your knee cap increases.

This will reduce the pain of your patellofemoral pain syndrome.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome exercise 2: Increase the strenght of your thigh muscles

The purpose of the second exercise is to increase the strength of your quadriceps. We will use the active straight leg raise for this. With the active straight leg raise you can train your quadriceps without bending your knee or putting a lot of pressure on your knee. Therefore this exercise is better at this point then the squat or legpress.

Because your knee cap is imbedded inside the tendon of your quadriceps, the strength of your quadriceps is important in the patellar tracking. When it doesn’t pull hard enough on your patella, it is not going to move.

By increasing the strength, the patellar tracking will also improve.

 

Perform the exercise like this:

  • Lay down on your back with your legs completely stetched
  • Pull your toes towards you
  • Now lift up your leg straight up and let it come down again
  • Repeat this 10 times
  • If this is to easy you can do it 15 or even 20 times
  • Repeat this 3 times

You can see how to perform the exercise here below on the video.

Perform this exercise 2 times a day. You will notice that you healthy leg will go much easier then your painful leg.

As the exercise becomes easier you will also feel less pain in your knee.

ankle weights

 

When the exercise becomes too easy this way you can also add some weight through these ankle weights.

By adding these weights you can increase the strength of your thigh muscle even more, giving you even better results.

You can choose between different weights based on your strength.

You can also use these weights for various other exercises.

 

 

Patellofemoral pain syndrome exercise 3: Stretching your thigh muscles

The third exercise we have to do is designed to stretch your thigh muscles.

Because your patella is imbedded in the tendon of your quadriceps, thight quadriceps will push your patella against your knee. This causes more friction for your patella when it moves.

By stretching the muscle, you will reduce the pressure and increase the patellar tracking.

Perform the exercise like this:

  • Grap the ankle of your injured leg
  • Pull your ankle towards your butt
  • Hold this for 20 seconds
  • You will feel the tension in your thigh muscle

Repeat this exercise several times a day.
You can find the exercise also in the video below:

Perform this exercise as often as possible.

 

Patellofemoral pain syndrome exercise 4: Increasing the strength of your hip muscles

The final exercise is designed to increase the strength of your hip muscles.

Weak hip muscles causes your hip to drop when you walk. This pushes you knee inwards which results in a change in the direction of the forces on your patella. This influences the patellar tracking and thus the patellofemoral pain syndrome.

By performing the folling exercise the strength of your hip is increased. this will improve the movements of your knee, reducing the pressure on your knee cap.

Perform the exercise like this:

  • Lay down on your side with you painful knee up
  • Keep your knee extended and your toes pointing towards you
  • Now lift up your leg into the air
  • Repeat this 10 times
  • Do this 3 times

 

Perform this exercise twice a day. When 10 times is to easy, you can increase the number of repetitions to 15 or even 20 times.

Conclusion
Knee pain caused by the patellofemoral pain syndrome is very well treatable within a few weeks. Perform these exercises regularly and you’ll see your knee problem disappear.

When you have any question feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] and I will update this page.

When you found this page helpful feel free to share it with your frends and other patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome.


 

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