FNQ Podiatry & Orthotics

(07) 4045 5749

After Hours & Weekend Appointments Available

Runners Knee (Patellofemoral Syndrome) – Treatment Cairns

Runners knee treatment Cairns is available at each of the FNQ Podiatry and Orthotics clinics. You might be surprised to learn that ‘runners knee’ is actually called Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. It’s a common condition, associated with pain at the front of the knee joint. ‘Patellofemoral’ is in reference to the joint between the patella (knee cap bone) and the femur (thigh bone). The Patellofemoral joint is subject to a large number, of high repetitive stress during everyday activities, such as running and jumping. Given this, it is no surprise that it is the most common knee injury that we see presenting in our clinics. If you’re looking for effective runners knee treatment in Cairns, we can help.

What Are The Causes Of Patellofemoral Syndrome?

Left untreated Patellofemoral syndrome can become a chronic condition.

Patellofemoral syndrome occurs when the knee cap does not track up and down the groove, in the thigh bone, as smoothly as it should. This leads to a catching sensation and vague pain at the front of the knee. Whilst Patellofemoral syndrome is common, early Cairns runners knee treatment is recommended, to prevent it from turning into a chronic condition. Patellofemoral Syndrome can be caused by many risk factors and is most commonly seen in active individuals, (women > men). The most common risk factors we see include:

  • Muscle weakness involving the quadricep muscles. These are the primary muscles that control knee cap movement during walking and running.
  • Weakness of the gluteal (hip) muscles.
  • Feet that roll in (pronation). This leads to the knee being placed into an internally rotated position and therefore not allowing the knee cap to track up and down as smoothly as it should.
  • Footwear that isn’t suitable for the patient’s biomechanics.
  • Having a large ‘Q’ angle. This refers to the angle that the knee sits in compared to the hip in the frontal plane. The higher the angle, the more internally rotated position the knee sits and therefore has an effect on knee cap movement. Women naturally have higher Q angle than men due to their hip shape.
  • Sudden increase or change in activity e.g. going from being sedentary to running regularly without building into it.
  • Recent weight gain.
  • Poor running biomechanics.

What Are The Symptoms Of Patellofemoral Syndrome?

  • Pain at the front of the knee joint, particularly when the knee is flexed or extended with activities such as running or jumping.
  • Swelling around the knee cap after aggravating exercise.
  • Some cases are associated with pain around the knee joint after prolonged periods of being in a flexed position e.g. sitting at a desk.

How Is Runners Knee (Patellofemoral Syndrome) Diagnosed?

Dry needling helps to loosen tight muscles.

A thorough biomechanical examination and history will most commonly be enough to diagnose Patellofemoral Syndrome. Depending on the severity of symptoms, you may/may not be referred for an x-ray to rule out any structural abnormalities. MRI’s are rarely recommended if there is no history of recent knee injury, however, can be used if the patient does not respond as expected to conservative runners knee treatment Cairns.

Runners Knee Treatment Cairns – Patellofemoral Syndrome

Cairns treatment options for runners knee – Patellofemoral Syndrome – are largely tailored around addressing your individual risk factors. Given this, your initial consultation will involve a thorough foot and lower limb biomechanical assessment to determine what your contributing factors are. As with most lower limb problems, early treatment is the best form of treatment as this will help reduce your chances of it turning into a chronic condition. Common runners knee Cairns treatment options include:

  • Strengthening exercises to help improve function of the hip and knee muscles.
  • Activity modifications to temporarily reduce loading through the patellofemoral joint.
  • Footwear modifications.
  • Custom orthotics to help reduce knee rotation and therefore improve tracking of the knee cap over the patellofemoral joint.
  • Dry needling/massage work to help loosen off tight muscles around the knee and hip.
  • Running technique training to improve function.
  • Anti-inflammatories (short-term only).

Left untreated, Patellofemoral syndrome has the potential to lead to permanent degeneration of the cartilage under the knee cap. FNQ Podiatry & Orthotics can provide effective runners knee treatment Cairns, at our Redlynch, Edmonton and Mareeba clinics.

What Is The Prognosis For Patellofemoral Syndrome?

Providing patient compliance, the majority of people respond quickly to the conservative treatments listed above. Recent studies have shown that Patellofemoral Syndrome is associated with knee Osteoarthritis in later life, therefore immediate treatment is important. Once pain levels have improved, patients with the aforementioned risk factors, must continue on a preventative strengthening program to reduce the risk of a reoccurrence. Surgery is very rarely required for Patellofemoral Syndrome given the high success rate of conservative treatment. Our clinics provide effective runners knee Cairns treatment for a range of patients. So, if you or any of your friends or family are suffering from knee pain, contact our clinic today and we will get you on the road to recovery.