Patella Femoral Syndrome

patella femoral syndrome

Patella Femoral Syndrome

Patella Femoral Syndrome is the technical term for runner’s knee. It is an inflammation of the underside of the kneecap from various activities, such as running. In addition, it is a form of knee pain that goes by several different names. It is also referred to as:

  • Patella Pain Syndrome
  • PFPS
  • Patellofemoral Syndrome
  • Patellofemoral Joint Syndrome
  • PFJ Syndrome
  • Chondromalacia Patellae
  • Anterior Knee Pain
  • Medial Knee Pain
  • Jumper’s Knee
  • Runner’s Knee (Important! You do not need to be a runner to get runner’s knee.)

From the various names above, runner’s knee is the most well known. However, no matter what you call Patella Femoral Syndrome, it all boils down to the one thing. Knee pain!


The causes of Patella Femoral Syndrome are associated with overuse, injury or excessive weight gain. Congenital conditions such as knocked knees, flat feet, or runners are predisposed to develop Patella Femoral Syndrome. In addition, women are more like then men to develop it during their lifetime.


The symptoms associated with Patella Femoral Syndrome are:

  • Pain in the front of their knees (It may be unilateral or bilateral)
  • Pain climbing stairs (especially down)
  • Pain while sitting for long periods
  • Pain jumping, running, walking, squatting or kneeling
  • Burning
  • Swelling
  • Instability
  • Popping or grinding
  • Tight or stiff muscles


Patella Femoral Syndrome is primarily associated with knee pain around the kneecap. See your doctor, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above and the knee pain doesn’t go away or increases. Your doctor will be able to diagnose this injury through your medical history along with a physical examination. Sometimes, x-rays are used to rule out other possible knee pain conditions.


The most effective way to treat Patella Femoral Syndrome is the RICE method for injuries. Rest, Ice, Compress & Elevate. Rest is very important. To learn more about RICE please click here. In fact you should avoid heavy knee activities until your pain is completely gone. A proper knee brace to control the patella tracking can also be effective. Check out the knee brace guide for knee braces specific to your needs.  NSAID’s (over the counter medication) will temporarily relieve pain as well. Exercise & physical therapy might be recommended to strengthen the muscles around the knee.


Preventing Patella Femoral Syndrome might not be completely possible. However, there are certain measures you can take to reduce the chances of developing it.

  • Warm up properly
  • Avoid running if you experience pain
  • Use RICE regularly if you are very active
  • Wear proper shoes
  • Strengthen knee muscles

Articles You May Find Helpful if You Are a Runner. 

Knee Pain After Running

10 Knee Pain Running Tips

7 Simple Knee Pain Exercises For Relief

Have You Had Patella Femoral Syndrome? Please Comment Below. 

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