We see various types of knee pain but the most common is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS). PFPS commonly presents as pain behind or around the knee cap and is often associated with a sensation of crunching or popping underneath the knee cap. These symptoms are usually present during activities such as squatting, running or walking up and down stairs. PFPS is also provoked by prolonged sitting with the knees bent, such as sitting at the movies! It tends to develop gradually without a causative event and is present in 23% of adults in the general population. The cause of PFPS is multidimensional. Put simply, the knee cap is not tracking optimally within its groove due to an imbalance of forces acting on the patellofemoral joint.
The causes can include poor alignment of the hip, knee and ankle during activities such as squatting, tight structures on the side of the thigh, flat feet or an imbalance of the quadriceps muscles.
The latest evidence has shown that a combination of hip and knee exercises improve pain in the short, medium and long term, as well as improves function. To help relieve pain from PFPS below are a few exercises and stretches you can try.
- Sitting VMO
- Sit to Stands
- Foam roller: ITB & quadriceps
- Gluteus medius
- Crab walk
- Isometric wall hold
- Straight leg raise
- Controlled step downs
- ¼ squats
- ½ squats
- Stretches: quadriceps, ITB, hip flexors, calves
In addition to exercise, mobilisation and taping of the knee cap may also help quickly to relieve pain. See our video to find out how!
If you have PFPS please see your physiotherapist to receive treatment, further information and a more tailored exercise program to help resolve your pain.