Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a term used to describe pain in the front of the knee and around the kneecap. It is sometimes called “runner’s knee” or “jumper’s knee” because it is common in people who participate in sports but it can occur in nonathletes as well. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is caused by physical activities that put repeated stress on the knee such as jogging, squatting and climbing stairs. It can also be caused by a sudden change in physical activity including the frequency or intensity of the activity.
In most cases patellofemoral pain will improve with simple home treatments including:
1. Stop doing the activities that make your knee hurt until your pain is resolved. This may mean changing your training routine or switching to low impact activities such as riding a stationary bike, using an elliptical machine or swimming that will place less stress on your knee joint.
2. Practice RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
Rest. Without rest, movement and weight bearing can continue to aggravate an injury and cause increased inflammation and swelling. Avoid putting weight on the painful knee.
Ice. Use cold packs for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Do not apply ice directly on skin.
Compression. To prevent additional swelling, lightly wrap the knee in an elastic bandage. Elastic bandages, such as ACE wraps, are most commonly used.
Elevation. As often as possible, rest with your knee raised up higher than your heart.
3. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
If your pain persists or it becomes more difficult to move your knee, contact our office for an evaluation.