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Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS): Chronic Knee Pain

May 26, 2015

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Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), more commonly recognized as chronic knee pain, is a very common musculoskeletal disorder that affects individuals of all ages. In fact, it is estimated that 21 to 45 percent of physically active adolescents suffer from this condition, as well as 15 to 33 percent of physically active adults. Despite this frequency, PFPS diagnosis is primarily seen in 15 to 30 year old female patients.

The most common symptom we see with the diagnosis of PFPS is retropatellar pain (pain between the kneecap & thigh bone) or diffused peripatellar pain (vague pain around the kneecap) during weight-bearing activities like running, stair navigation, and squatting, as well as pain with prolonged sitting. The issue is also chronic, as we see nearly 70 to 90 percent of patients with PFPS exhibiting repeated episodes. It’s found that 74 percent of patients with PFPS at a 5 year follow up reported they still had limited physical activity due to their knee pain.

Luckily, there are treatment options available to those suffering with this condition. Through the improving of muscular strength and endurance of the thighs & hips (quadriceps, hip external rotators, and hip abductors), many individuals can see decreased pain and improved physical ability. In the same vein, working the neuromuscular control of these muscle groups in weight bearing positions or during sport specific exercises can also contribute to positive outcomes. Given that factors like lack of ankle dorsiflexion or excessive pronation have been shown to contribute to PFPS, the treatment of these limitations can decrease the patient’s pain as well.

If you are suffering from chronic knee pain it is possible to reduce discomfort and get back to an active lifestyle with the help of a physical therapist. Request an appointment with one of our expert PTs here or visit any of our clinics near you!



About the PT

Jordan Noffey is a physical therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist. He earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Exercise Science from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and went on to complete his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York.  During completion of his graduate degree, Jordan gained valuable experience and knowledge in the field of exercise, health, and wellness as he worked as a strength and conditioning coach as well as a personal trainer. His interests evolved throughout graduate school and led to research in testing hip strength in patients with foot and ankle conditions. This research was later presented at the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of American College of Sports Medicine Conference. Jordan is passionate about treating athletes of all ages and skill levels, as well as returning them to their activities in a condition in which they can perform better than previously with less risk of injury.  


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