PF as it is usually called is a typical pain that manifests itself on the front of the knee cap. Early stage runners are more prone to get this. Before you think it is time for knee replacement surgery (Believe me many of us go down that path very soon..), let us first understand what is happening here.
What is PF?:
Patellofemoral pain syndrome symptoms include tenderness behind or around the patella (kneecap), usually toward the center. You may feel pain toward the back of your knee, and either a sense of cracking or that the knee is giving out. Steps, hills, and uneven terrain can aggravate the issue.
Why it happens?
Extra force placed on the knee joint due to overuse (increased activity), from repeated running or jumping or increasing your training intensity, which can stress out your knees and irritate the nerves of your kneecaps or the overstretched tendons that hold them in place
Weakness or imbalance of the hip and knee muscles, which can lead to misalignment of the kneecap and cause stress to be distributed unevenly in the knee joint
The cartilage behind the knee cap could get bruised and causes pain
Patellofemoral pain syndrome causes pain under and around the knee.
The pain often gets worse with walking, kneeling, squatting, going up or down stairs, or running.
It may also hurt after sitting with a bent knee for a long time, such as in a long car ride or in a movie theater.
Some people with PFP syndrome feel a "popping" or creaking after getting up from sitting or when going up or down stairs.
How to treat it?
Reduce activity till pain subsides
Ice it a lot immediately after a run (Reduce swelling and hence pain will reduce)
Long term - Weakness in Thigh muscles/Hips causes misalignment. So need to fix that. Follow the kinetic chain strengthening exercises religiously
Wearing a knee Brace/Taping the knee or in some case shoe inserts will also help on alignment
Bonus Material:Check out this short video I had with Dr. Raghuram, India's premier Orthopedic surgeon on the Knee joint and typical injuries faced therin
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