The Physio Hub

Understanding and Managing Patello femoral Pain Syndrome


At The Physio Hub in Collingwood, we understand that sports injuries are an inevitable part of being active, whether you’re a weekend warrior, a recreational athlete, or a professional competitor. Injuries can be unpredictable and immensely frustrating, especially when they hinder your ability to perform your favorite activities. One common condition that athletes and active individuals may encounter is Patello femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), often referred to as “runner’s knee.”

What is Patello femoral Pain Syndrome?

Patello femoral Pain Syndrome is a condition characterized by pain around the front of the knee and the patella (kneecap). This pain often occurs due to overload of the tissues around the patella, causing irritation. PFPS is common among athletes but can affect anyone, especially those who increase their activity levels rapidly.

How Do You Fix Patellofemoral Pain?

1. Rest and Activity Modification

  • Rest: Reducing or modifying activities that trigger pain is crucial. This doesn’t mean complete inactivity but avoiding high-impact activities like running or jumping and getting symptoms under control.
  • Cross-Training: It is best to stay active, and so engaging in lower-impact exercises like swimming or cycling to maintain fitness without irritating the knees.

2. Physiotherapy

  • Strengthening Exercises: Focus on strengthening the quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip muscles to improve knee stability. This can be hard to do when painful but guided by a physiotherapist it is the most recommended treatment.
  • Stretching: Regular stretching of the hamstrings, calves, and iliotibial band can reduce tension around the knee.
  • Manual Therapy: Techniques such as massage and mobilization performed by a physiotherapist can help reduce pain and improve function.

3. Supportive Measures

  • Bracing or Taping: Using a knee brace or taping the knee can provide support and reduce pain during activity.
  • Orthotics: A short period of using orthotics can help to reduce knee stress but is not recommended for a long period of time.

4. Pain Management

  • Ice: Applying ice packs to the knee can help reduce pain.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications may be recommended by your doctor or pharmacist to manage pain.

What Are the Signs That a Person Has Patellofemoral Syndrome?

  • Pain Around the Kneecap: Pain is typically felt around or behind the kneecap, especially during activities like climbing stairs, squatting, or sitting for long periods.
  • Grinding or Clicking Sensation: Some may feel or hear a grinding or clicking sound when bending the knee.
  • Swelling: Mild swelling around the knee can occur.
  • Pain with Activity: Activities that put pressure on the knee, such as running, jumping, or squatting, often exacerbate the pain.

How Long Does It Take for Patellofemoral Syndrome to Heal?

The healing time for PFPS varies depending on the severity of the condition and adherence to treatment. On average, with appropriate management, many individuals start to see improvement within 4-6 weeks. Full recovery can take several months, especially if the syndrome is severe or has been present for a long time. Consistency with physiotherapy exercises and activity modification is key to a successful recovery.

Dos and Don’ts of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome


  • Do Follow Your Physiotherapist’s Advice: Adhering to the prescribed exercises and treatment plan is crucial.
  • Do Strengthen Supporting Muscles: Focus on strengthening the muscles around the knee and hip to support the joint.
  • Do Use Strategies for Pain Relief: Using ice, braces, and any other strategies to reduce pain if you have done too much is recommended.
  • Do Stay Active with Low-Impact Activities: Engage in activities like swimming or cycling that don’t put excessive stress on the knees.


  • Don’t Ignore the Pain: Continuing activities that cause pain can worsen the condition.
  • Don’t Overdo It: Gradually increase activity levels rather than making sudden, intense increases.
  • Don’t Neglect Rest and Recovery: Allow your body time to heal and recover between workouts.
  • Don’t Skip Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs: Properly warming up before exercise and cooling down afterward can prevent strain on the knees.


At The Physio Hub, our focus on sports injuries and neuro rehab means going beyond the treatment table for your health and recovery. If you’re experiencing symptoms of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, our team in Collingwood is here to provide expert physiotherapy to help you get back to your favorite activities. Don’t let knee pain keep you on the sidelines—contact us today to start your journey to recovery.