Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a condition in which you experience pain around and under the kneecap. The pain can be in both knees or just one. It is often worse with prolonged sitting or when you are active. It is not known what causes this syndrome, but it is believed that the mechanical movement of the kneecap is to blame. There are several issues associated with this syndrome, such as patellofemoral malalignment, anterior knee pain syndrome and chondromalacia patella.
How Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome Affects Athletes
This condition is characterized by pain. When you are sitting with your knees bent for a prolonged period of time, kneeling, squatting or going up and down stairs, the pain tends to worsen. The pain is often described as aching and dull.
Diagnosing Patellofemoral pain Syndrome
Your medical history and symptoms will be discussed in great detail. Your doctor will also want to know when the pain started, its frequency and intensity, what helps it and what makes it worse and about your physical activity.
Your knee will be examined and assessed for mobility, alignment and strength. In many cases, you will be asked to stand, jump, sit, walk, squat and lie down to assess these characteristics.
To rule out other possible causes of your pain and discomfort, imaging tests may be ordered. These may include one or more of the following: MRI, CT scan or X-rays. These are used to look at the structure of your knee to look for damage or anything else abnormal. In some cases, blood tests may also be done to rule out other conditions.
Preventing Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
It is important to stay in shape. When your knees and legs are well-conditioned, they will not be as affected by stress, lessening the chances of developing this syndrome. To maintain mobility in this joint, stretching regularly is important. Before stretching, make sure to thoroughly warm up. When you are running, make sure to use the right shoes and the right form. As you train, increase it gradually to get your knees ready for more intense activity.