Patellofemoral is the pain that you experience at the front of your knees around your kneecap or patella. Sometimes it is also called as runner's knee. Generally it is more common in case of people who play any sports involving jumping and running. The pain in the knee increases when you walk up the stairs or down it, run, and squat sit for long periods.
Patellofemoral pain symptoms can be diagnosed easily because of the dull, aching pain in the front of you knee. The pain will increase if you to any of the following-
- Walk up or down stairs
- Kneel or squat
- Sit with a bent knee for long periods of time
Sometimes you may also experience occasional knee buckling. When it happens your knees unexpectedly give way and do not support your body weight. When walking, you may have a popping, grinding or a catching sensation.
Some other symptoms may include-
- mild swelling
- a sensation of grating or grinding when bending or extending the leg
- reduced thigh muscle strength
Patellofemoral pain syndrome may be caused by different causes. Doctors are not sure what actually causes it but they believe that the following are the possible causes-
When you take part in any sports that includes running or jumping, it puts stress on your knee joint. Too much of the sport can result in irritation under the kneecap.
Muscle imbalance or weakness
The problem may start when the muscles around your hip and knee are not able to keep your kneecap properly aligned. If there is an inward movement of the knee during a squat, it can result in patellofemoral pain.
If somehow the kneecap receives any trauma like fracture dislocation, it can cause the problem.
If you have undergone knee surgery it may sometimes cause the pain.
There are several risk factors which can increase the possibility of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Some of the most common risk factors are-
The possibility of this problem increases or decreases depending on the age. It is more common in adolescence and young adults because they are at the highest risk of this syndrome. However, it has also been seen in case of older adults.
It is seen that women are more likely to suffer from this problem. They generally have greater risk of muscle imbalance. Another factor that increases the risk is the wider angle of the female pelvis. Both of these factors may cause women to have patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Some people may have flat feet and they are at a higher risk of developing this syndrome. It happens because such people put additional stress on the knee joints and so that may cause patellofemoral syndrome.
High impact activities
If you are constantly engaged in high impact or weight-bearing activities, it may increase the risk of the lopping patellofemoral pain syndrome. Running, squatting, jumping et cetera vote stress to the joint and that increases the possibility of knee injury.
If you have any of the risk factors, it is very important that you check yourself for the possible symptoms of this syndrome. It will be good for you to take the preventive measures which will help you to stay away from patellofemoral pain syndrome. If you have already seen some of the symptoms mentioned above, you should immediately consult your doctor and take measures to stop the problem and future possible spread.