Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a broad term used to describe pain in the front of the knee and around the patella, or kneecap. It is sometimes called “runner’s knee” or “jumper’s knee” because it is common in people who participate in sports that involve running and jumping. However, patellofemoral pain syndrome can occur in nonathletes, as well. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), women are twice as likely as men to develop patellofemoral pain.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is usually a dull, aching pain in the front of the knee. This pain can be aggravated when:
• Walking up or down stairs
• Kneeling or squatting
• Sitting for a long period with knees bent
• Popping or crackling sounds in the knee when climbing stairs or standing after prolonged sitting
Runner’s knee can be frustrating when the pain interferes with activities we enjoy. Here are a few tips to help relieve the pain:
• Take a break from activities that causes pounding on the knee such as sports involving jumping or running
• Use the RICE Method – Rest • Ice • Compression • Elevation
• Try non-impact exercises such as swimming and other low impact activities
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – speak to a healthcare provider before taking NSAIDs
• Physical Therapy
A simple consultation with a physical therapist will help determine what exercises are best to facilitate healing and strength while minimizing the painful symptoms of runner’s knee.