Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Are you a runner? Does your sport involve a lot of jumping, pivoting, and sprinting? Or, has your knee simply been bothering you for a while, and you’re not exactly sure what to do about it? At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine in Ramsey, our northern New Jersey pain management team, led by Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, have worked with hundreds of people experiencing patellofemoral pain syndrome. We use innovative, effective, and non-surgical techniques to reduce pain, restore normal function, and prevent recurrence.
What Is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome? What Does it Feel Like?
Your knee joint is a hinge joint, and one of the largest and most intricate joints within your body. Some of the main components of your knee include the patella (knee cap), distal end of the femur (thigh bone), patellar tendon (which connects your quadriceps muscle to the top of your tibia, aka your shin bone), internal knee ligaments, and menisci (protective cartilaginous cushions lining the inside of the knee joint). These structures must work together to form a healthy and properly functioning joint that can withstand activities of daily life and sport.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome really just means anterior knee pain. It is usually associated with a wearing down of the cartilage under the knee cap (a condition known as chondromalacia patella). Because there are no nerves within joint cartilage, this breakdown in itself will not directly cause pain. Instead, gradual degradation of the patella’s cartilage can trigger an inflammatory response which leads to symptoms including:
- Pain located on the front of your knee, behind the knee cap
- Pain in the knee during and/or after exercise, or upon rising after sitting for a long time
- Crackling or popping sensations and noises in the knee while stair climbing or standing from sitting
You might notice these symptoms most when you try to run, jump, climb stairs, kneel down, or get on or off a chair or toilet.
Causes of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
As mentioned, sports that involve a lot of running and jumping can lead to patellofemoral knee pain. This is includes things like track and field, basketball, gymnastics, and cycling. Things like overuse, a sudden change in training intensity or frequency, and a sudden change in footwear, equipment, or athletic surface may bring on the symptoms. That said, a person doesn’t have to be an athlete to experience this condition.
Young people and especially women are also more prone to developing patellofemoral knee pain. Women tend to be affected by this syndrome more than men. This is thought to be related to the fact that women have wider hips, which increases what’s known as the “Q angle” between the hip and the knee. This may alter the alignment of the patella and increase the amount of tension it experiences during physical activity, thus increasing a woman’s risk to developing knee pain compared to a man.
How Our Ramsey Pain Team Manages Patellofemoral Knee Pain
Our approach to managing patellofemoral pain syndrome must be multifaceted. Our doctors use regenerative medicine techniques to revitalize damaged cartilage and reduce or eliminate the underlying cause of your knee pain. We may choose to provide interventional pain injections to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation, as well.
We perform osteopathic manipulations and joint mobilizations to help realign the alignment of the patella and reduce strain in that area. Our physical therapy team can also show you exercises and stretches to improve the stability around your knee and improve your performance and body mechanics during sport or work tasks.
Are you tired of being held back by knee pain? For excellence in non-surgical orthopedic and therapeutic solutions to your symptoms, call the sports medicine team at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine to schedule an appointment today. Our number is 201-962-9199. It’s our honor to help you recover from a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions. Call today!