What is patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)?

By STAB1995 | How to get rid of pain | 24 Feb 2021

Maybe you have had it yourself. Or your children? Patellofemoral pain syndrome or PFPS is a collective name for complaints on, under and / or around your kneecap. This can be quite annoying. But what can you do about this? Read that below.

                                                                                             train near mountain range

What is PFPS?
As I have already mentioned above, PFPS is a collective name for complaints on, under and / or around your kneecap.

Before I can explain what causes PFPS, you first need to know what a kneecap looks like.
An example I always give my patients is that the kneecap is a train that travels through its track. The track is the knee itself. The kneecap is also inside of a large muscle of ours (m. Rectus Femoris). This muscle ensures that the train can drive through its track. There are also many ligaments around the knee. These ensure that the kneecap can move back and forth stably.

Ideally, the kneecap is just right in its track. Only as soon as muscles or ligaments shorten the train will go crooked in the track, making the movement stiff. This results in incorrect pressure in the knee. This pressure can damage cartilage.

Often this is due to a reduction in strength, mobility or stability. Normally, if you exercise well, you should not suffer, because your muscles are well trained.

Puberty is a major cause of PFPS. The body grows faster in some places than in others, which can shorten the muscles or ligaments. Therefore, PFPS is also more common in children who are in puberty than in the elderly.

                                                                                           person lying on gray textile


  • Pain in the knee, but also especially in the tendons of the knee muscles
  • Stiffness
  • Cracking noises in the knee
  • May have swelling around the knee

                                                                              woman doing weight lifting

What can you do about it?
Unfortunately in the event that it comes through puberty there is no immediate solution. However, by properly strengthening the thigh and knee muscles, training the stability of the knee and keeping the muscles and ligaments around the knee at length, the complaints can decrease. In many cases, knee braces can help, but the patient often has to find out for themselves whether this also helps for him or her.

Questions, feedback or ideas for new posts? Message me.

Kind regards,

Sascha Bargi BSc. Pt. & MSc. Ost. in training

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BSc. Pt., MSc. Ost. in training, Writer and a Crypto enthusiast

How to get rid of pain
How to get rid of pain

The goal of this blog is to get tips, advices and exercises on how to get rid of physical injuries like low back pain.

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