How is PFPS treated?
Tre treatment of PFPS depends on the severity of the symptoms. In many cases, PFPS will improve with some simple at home treatment:
Activity changes – stop doing the activities that make the knee hurt until pain has resolved. This may mean changing the training routine or switching to low-impact activities such as riding a stationary bike or swimming.
The RICE method – RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
- Rest – avoid putting weight on the painful knee
- Ice – use ice packs for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Remember not to apply the ice directly on the skin
- Compression – to prevent additional swelling, lightly wrap the knee in an elastic bandage. Make sure the bandage doesn’t cause additional pain
- Elevation – as often as possible, rest with your knee raised up higher than your heart.
Medication – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
The management of a patient with patellofemoral pain syndrome requires a holistic approach. Podiatry looks to address the underlying cause for the pain and uses modalities such as manual therapy, taping, targeted exercise, orthotics, and advice around activity modification. Recovery may take 6-8 weeks depending on a variety of lifestyle factors and the underlying cause for your specific pain.
Physical therapy – specific exercises will help you improve range of motion, strength, and endurance. It is especially important to focus on strengthening and stretching your quadriceps since these muscles are the main stabilizers of the kneecap.
Orthotics – shoe inserts can help align and stabilize your foot and ankle, taking stress off your lower leg and helping to correct your biomechanics.