Patellofemoral joint (PFJ) pain or Kneecap pain, is a general term used to describe pain on or around the knee cap. The PFJ is the joint between the knee cap (patella) and the thigh bone (femur), pain generally occurs when there is an abnormal amount or change of force put through this joint. It affects 25% of the general population every year and it appears to affect women more then men.
Ways to decrease chance of kneecap pain:
- Gradually increase the amount of activity you are doing - don't go from 0 to 100 straight away
- Do a number of different activities - studies show that children who specialize in one sport are more likely to have knee cap pain
- Weight control - not only in terms of the controlling the kg load going through joints, but adipose (fat) tissue in obesity is known to secrete adipokines and pro-inflammatory cytokines (2); this can lead to low grade system inflammation which may contribute to pain.
Interventions to decrease knee cap pain:
- A 2016 study (1) showed that hip and knee strengthening exercises were the most beneficial in reducing pain.
- Knee cap taping can be used in the short term (4 weeks), this has a ban-did affect to help reduce pain and allow exercise therapy to commence.
- Shoe innersoles (can be $30 from the pharmacy) may help reduce over pronation of the foot and take some pressure off the knee. Again, this is a band-aid, EXERCISE IS GOLD STANDARD
- Be patient - sadly, no magic hands or pills will fix it.
Some great exercises:
There are many varied type of exercises and depending on your symptoms, they might not all be suitable for you. Make an appointment for an assessment on your condition and get a diagnosis so you follow the right recovery pathway.
Some of the exercises may include those listed below. BOOK HERE
- Dead lifts
- Step ups
- Lateral band walks/monster walks
- Leg extension exercises
- Leg press exercise
1. 2016 Patellofemoral pain consensus statement from the 4th International Patellofemoral Pain Research Retreat, Manchester. Part 2: recommended physical interventions (exercise, taping, bracing, foot orthoses and combined interventions.
2.Adhesive Capsulitis: An age related symptom of metabolic syndrome and chronic low-grade inflammation? Max Pietrzak. Full text here