Patellofemoral Pain syndrome (PFPS) 

PFPS_mod“There is pain in the front of my knee, but I can’t remember how I did it?”

“My pain usually worsens when loading weight through the knee, i.e. walking up stairs, standing from sitting or squatting.”
A look at Patellofemoral Pain syndrome (PFPS) 
PFPS is an inflammation or irritation of the patella (knee cap) joint or surrounding structures. It may cause pain on, around or under the knee cap area. The cause of PFPS may arise from a direct trauma to the patella, however is more commonly due to a combination of knee overuse, poor biomechanics and muscular weakness or imbalance.
It is interesting to note that often the main contributor to front knee
pain may be the poor biomechanics of the hip or foot!

“I think this sounds like me, I went for a massive trail walk on the weekend and I’ve started going to the gym more…..What now?!”


1. Firstly avoid any painful activities when possible! Resting will help to settle the irritation/inflammation. If your knee is significantly swollen or you can’t avoid the painful activity,  ICE may be a helpful for symptom management, aim for 15 mins every 2 hours until symptoms settle.
2. Keep a track of what causes you pain, this will help you to understand what really provokes pain and importantly help your physiotherapist identify the primary biomechanical issues contributing to the issue.
3. Seek treatment from a physiotherapist and fast-track your recovery, an evidence-baed rehab program is the fastest way to manage symptoms, it is far more therapeutic than just rest and the best way to avoid re-injury!
“What can I expect from physiotherapy treatment?”
When you see a physio they will confirm a diagnosis and guide you on to the right treatment program. This is what evidence tells us is the most safe and effective way for leaving knee pain behind once and for all.
Treatment usually involves, soft tissue and joint mobilisation, strapping and a tailored exercise therapy program based on your individual biomechanic assessment. Exercises start basic and build to a level better than pre-injury.
If you or someone you know has been suffering knee pain, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your physiotherapist.
Sam Mullany is a Physiotherapist at Penrith Physiotherapy Sports Centre,
To book a consult with Sam, please call 02 4721 5567