Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a broad term used to describe knee pain that occurs around the kneecap. People who are most commonly infected include women and athletes, though the condition is not limited to these groups alone. Commonly known as “runner’s knee” or “jumper’s knee”, this type of pain typically occurs during:
- Exercise that requires a lot of jumping and/or bending of the knee
- Sitting with a bent knee for an extended period of time (airplanes, movie theaters)
- A change in the playing surface or equipment of a sport
People experiencing patellofemoral pain syndrome often describe their pain as a dull aching pain in or under the knee cap that won’t go away. This aching can be present in both knees or just one. Often, this pain extends from weakness and/or inflexibility in the muscles of the hip and knee. Here are a few stretches that can help alleviate the pain:
- Heel-Cord Stretch: With one foot and a bent knee, step forward. Keep your heels on the floor as you lean your hips forward, stretching the calf muscles of the back leg. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
- Quad Stretch: While standing, bring the foot up to your hip or buttocks. You should feel the stretch in the front of your thigh, or quad muscle. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
- Hamstring Stretch: Sitting on something flat, bring one leg out straight in front of you, bending the other knee. Keeping that leg as straight as you can, lean towards your toe until you feel a slight stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
- IT Band Stretch: In a standing position, cross one leg behind the other. Next, lean forward and towards the unaffected side.
If you experience patellofemoral pain syndrome and stretching doesn’t help alleviate pain, our physical therapists will be able help get you back on your feet quickly.