PATELLOFEMORAL PAIN – TREATMENT & CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

Patellofemoral pain is one of the most prevalent conditions within sports medicine and is a common presentation at The Injury Clinic Physiotherapy. 

Symptoms of patellofemoral pain are characterised by pain around or behind the patella, aggravated by activities that increase load on the PFJ (squatting, prolonged sitting, ascending and descending stairs, running).

Those with patellofemoral pain (PFP) may also experience crepitus, swelling and or tenderness on palpation.

Management of clients with patellofemoral pain needs to include targeted interventions that are specific to the individual to ensure good outcomes. 

 

Contributing Factors

There are many contributing factors to the development (and potential persistence) of PFP. Modifiable contributing factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Alterations in lower limb biomechanics increasing PFJ joint stress (foot; ankle; hip; knee)
  • Non-mechanical amplification of nociceptive signalling
  • Strength (gluteals; quadriceps)
  • Load factors (i.e. training volume etc.)
  • Altered movement patterns / neuromuscular function (i.e. gait pattern, step up)

 

Treatment & Management

Interventions to address PFP should be weighted to address the contributing factors specific to the individual and the task that is provocative. (i.e. running versus ascending stairs). 

This will therefore look different for everyone. Possible contributing factors will be identified during a targeted assessment to ensure that management is appropriate. 

 

Management of PFP at The Injury Clinic

Physiotherapists at The Injury Clinic will work with you to ensure you have an understanding of your diagnosis, management plan and possible contributing factors. 

Depending on who you are, how your pain behaves, and what your goals are, a management plan will be developed that is specific and targeted. 

It is likely that load modification will be a part of your management, as well as rehab and strengthening. 

 

REFERENCE:

Lack S., Neal B., De Oliveira Silva D., Barton C. How to manage patellofemoral pain – Understanding the multifactorial nature and treatment options. Physical Therapy in Sport. 2018. 32, 155-166.

 

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