Patellofemoral syndrome is a condition that is painful, and can be disabling if not treated . As previously discussed the syndrome is inflammation under the patella or knee cap, which is caused by faulty biomechanics of the joints, muscles, or both. As always prevention is the best way to treat this, but for those who don’t plan ahead, here are the most common ways of treating patellofemoral syndrome.
Pain is going to be the most common symptom that makes people concerned, so let’s address it first. The pain is caused from irritation to the tissues involved and inflammation. The best way to alleviate pain is by icing the knee and taking either NSAID or a natural anti-inflammatory. For those who are try to avoid medications, bromelain is a strong natural anti-inflammatory found in pineapple. Bromelain can be found in capsule form as well at the local health food store, such as Whole Foods Market on 86th ST. in Fishers.
Stabilizing the knee is another key factor that can be done a couple of different ways. Typically this type of treatment is done for those participating in activity and trying to decrease pain and increase function. The patella band is a stretchy band with some resistance that wraps around the lower part of the knee and is very effective for this condition. The bands help to significantly decrease pain levels in most cases when used during activity. Some people opt for a knee brace of sorts, which doesn’t seem to be as effective during activity when compared to the patella band. Kinesiotaping is another choice that is gaining popularity lately and is effective. This method can be applied by a chiropractor, physical therapist, or athletic trainer. The materials are available to the public, but run a higher price, so the learning and experimenting phase could become a bit expensive if you wanted to learn on your own.
So now that the pain is under control, here is how to get rid of the problem. Exercise! This condition is most often caused by a weakening of the vastus medialis oblique. Ways of strengthening this muscle are numerous and a lot of different professionals have their opinions. Riding a stationary bike with low to no resistance is a good initial step and then building up the resistance. Be cautious not to overdo the resistance and hurt the knee again. As always if pain is present, stop the exercise and try again later. If pain is still present, an examination by a healthcare professional is advised. Try lying on the floor having both legs extended and contract your quadriceps, pulling the knee caps up towards the pelvis. This should be done 20 times in sets of 3. Another good exercise is lying on the floor with a pillow under the knees and the legs bent at 135 degree angle, extend the legs at the knee and then repeat. This exercise should be repeated 15 times for 3 sets. Other exercises that are effective include leg presses and squats. These are considered close chained exercises and have less risk of re-injury. Once the VMO (vastus medialis oblique) has been strengthened and the condition has resolved, incorporating some of these exercises into your daily routine will keep this condition from returning.
This condition is very manageable and with the correct attitude and exercises can be