patello-femoral pain syndrome (pfps)
- patello-femoral pain syndrome (pfps) is an umbrella term used to describe pain at the front of the knee usually around the knee cap.
- the pain is due to poor tracking of the knee cap over the knee joint.
- the knee cap (patella) usually tracks over the knee joint when the knee bends and straightens. however due to certain factors the tracking of the knee cap deteriorates and starts to overload the muscles and ligaments around the knee cap. this generates pain in the region.
- although the pain is located in the knee this is more often than not just the area that is compensating for a bad movement elsewhere.
- usually weakness or tightness in the foot, ankle, thigh, hip or trunk are the areas that are lacking causing overload at the knee cap.
- thoracic, pelvic, hip, ankle and foot alignment are very important in managing these symptoms.
- dry needling and pir stretching are very effective in reducing the initial pain of these problems.
- long term relief is found through appropriate exercises as well as load management for specific sports and exercises.
- occasionally a brace may be advised to help deload the painful area.