Additional information on patellofemoral pain syndrome is available here.
First you need to understand our main objective: Improving the alignment and glide of the kneecap. This will allow inflammation to settle down and healing to begin.
Limit activities which exacerbate your pain. Basically, if it hurts - back off. Don't worry, this isn't for forever, we're simply giving the body a chance to heal.
ICE OR HEAT
If you notice swelling, go with ice instead of hot packs. This will help soothe the inflammation and stiffness. You can learn more about correct icing techniques on our Icing Instructional Guide.
Begin a targeted exercise program. For best results, make sure you address both strength and flexibility. Luckily you don't have to figure out which exercises to perform - our PT's have done it for you!
Due to your limited time we have prioritized the Top 3 Exercises. See below.
Initially, perform your exercises a few times a day. As the pain diminishes, you can ease off.
The evidence on knee braces is mixed and should not replace exercises. That said, many individuals report significant pain with a good brace. For additional guidance, please view our Knee Brace Review page.
WHAT TO EXPECT
These strategies should lead to noticeable improvement within 1-3 days.
BACK TO ACTION
Once the pain eases, slowly return to normal daily and athletic activities as tolerated. Let pain be your guide.
JOINT CARE + YOUR INSURANCE
Not improving fast enough? Time to talk to a pro. To find a doctor or PT who accepts your insurance, our Physiobot Care Access Specialist is now available. Telehealth options included.
-- Consult your doctor or physical therapist prior to initiating a new exercise program --
Selected based on your condition match and care profile
Hold for 45-60 seconds
1-2 repetitions per session
Perform on each side
10-15 repetitions per set
1 set per session
Perform on each side
Want to save for later? We are happy to email your exercises.
Quad/IT Band Stretch
The quadriceps and IT band are located on the front and outer thigh. When tight they can cause the kneecap (patella) to glide incorrectly, leading to irritation and pain.
IT Band: Foam Roll
This exercise can be a bit uncomfortable, but VERY effective at improving IT Band mobility and reducing patellofemoral pain.
The quadriceps are some of the most important functional muscles in the body. When weakened, instability and pain often occurs.