How To Treat Patello Femoral Pain

Knee injuries are one of the most common conditions treated at The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre. Patello femoral (kneecap) pain in particular can be experienced by our sporting patients as well as the general community.

Our physiotherapists incorporate various treatment techniques and management programs in order to effectively treat patients with patello femoral related pain. In particular we have found the most effective treatment approach is based on addressing our patients’ related structural and biomechanical issues along with activity and lifestyle influences. Fortunately this global approach has now been supported by recent research. The research strongly supports the approach of assessing each patient in some detail and then targeting the treatment regime to the wide variety of influences that can be combining to cause the underlying causes of the patello femoral pain.

Of course a close examination of the knee/patella femoral joint are required, but in addition, hip and core stability influences need to be assessed and addressed where relevant. There are particular ranges of motion at the hip joint that generally relate to patello femoral pain if they are affected. Also, the recruitment, strength and endurance of particular hip muscles, such as the gluteus medius, need to be taken into account. By incorporating core stability into the rehabilitation regime the benefits can carry over into more dynamic tasks as well as aiding in immediate pain reduction.

The type of exercises prescribed for each patient should be based not only on the examination but also on how the individual patient responds to different types of exercises and loading. As a variety of exercise approaches can be effective it is also possible to vary the treatment in order to take into account patient preferences and available equipment and facilities. Exercise dosages and frequency need to be adjusted in order to represent whether muscle recruitment, strengthening or endurance gains are the primary focus.

Individual circumstances will determine the degree to which the treatment needs to focus on initially settling the patient’s pain. This will help determine exercise selection. In addition, taping of the patella may reduce pain and allow for more rapid exercise introduction.

Below the knee, foot mechanics, calf muscle imbalances and footware selections may also need to be addressed. In some cases orthotic, or shoe inserts, can also be useful – based on the patient’s particular needs.

Along with treatment techniques aimed at improving patella mobility, some patients may also benefit from massage, supported by the use of the foam roller and stretching.

Should you require any additional information at all about patello femoral pain, or any other injury, please arrange a time to consult with one of our experienced physiotherapists.  You can either book online or phone 9650 9372.