Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
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- Malalignment of the knee joint caused by:
- Rolling your feet outward during walking or running—can pull the kneecap out of line and cause painful rubbing of the kneecap against the bones of the knee
- The kneecap being located too high or too low in the knee joint
- Loose ligaments
- Poorly-aligned bones
- Weak or tight thigh muscles causing:
- Inability to hold the kneecap in the correct position
- The kneecap to rub against the femur during movement
- Overuse and overloading the knee joint from:
- High-impact sports or activities, such as running that result in pounding on the feet
- Knock knees
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Hip dysfunction
- External rotation of the lower leg
- Trauma, such as an automobile accident where the kneecap hits the dashboard
- Swelling of the knee
- Popping or grinding sounds in the knee joint during activity
- A snapping sensation in the knee
- Warm-up before exercising.
- Vary the types of activities that you participate in. For example, rather than running or jogging every day, alternate between running and swimming.
- Use appropriate footware for your sport.
- Increase the amount and effort of activities slowly over time.
- Use proper form and technique for any sport.
- Take care of injuries right away. This includes getting first aid and resting the injury until it is healed before beginning an activity again.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Juhn MS. Patellofemoral pain syndrome: a review and guidelines for treatment. Am Fam Physician. 1999; (60)7: 2012-2022.
Labella C. Patellofemoral pain syndrome: evaluation and treatment. Prim Care Clin Office Pract. 2004; 31: 977-1003.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome. Am Fam Physician. 1999 Nov 1;60(7):2019-2022. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/991101ap/991101b.html. Accessed March 9, 2015.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 24, 2014. Accessed March 9, 2015.
1/24/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Fukuda TY, Rossetto FM, Magalhães E, Bryk FF, Lucareli PR, de Almeida Aparecida Carvalho N. Short-term effects of hip abductors and lateral rotators strengthening in females with patellofemoral pain syndrome: a randomized controlled clinical trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2010;40(11):736-742.
- Reviewer: Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT, OCS
- Review Date: 03/2015 -
- Update Date: 04/29/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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