Patellofemoral pain syndrome and sport

Patellofemoral pain syndrome and sport

Patellofemoral pain syndrome or runner's knee is the most frequent knee injury in sportspersons. It affects around 30% of sportspersons according to recent studies, i.e. millions of people, no less! It seemed important to make you understand this condition to reduce appearance risks.


What is patellofemoral pain syndrome?

The kneecap abnormally moves through the femoral groove (misalignment of the kneecap). This causes unusual rubbing, which contributes to inflaming and damaging the patellar cartilage. Cartilage is like a thin coat of paint covering the kneecap and which allows a smooth sliding of the kneecap on the femur. The pain appears when the kneecap stays too long against the femur, like when sitting and/or when repeating the same shocking movement such as running.

Signs of runner's knee in daily life.

  • Discomfort and pain when being in a sitting position for a long time (need to stretch the leg and to 'crack' your knee);
  • Pains when going down stairs;
  • Your knee often cracks;
  • You feel like your kneecap disengages from its tracks and reengages almost instantly;
  • You feel a crunching feeling inside the knee, and a sensation of heaviness of the knee.

Predisposing factors to patellofemoral pain syndrome

  • You have flat feet or feet in pronation.
  • Your knees curve inward (genu valgum), or outward (genu varum).
  • You have a leg shorter than the other.
  • The muscles that surround your kneecap do not exercise the same forces and contribute to an imbalance of the patellar support.
  •  A few extra pounds that add pressure on the kneecap and make it more fragile and sorer.

In any case, when you’re doing sport with those predisposing factors, the kneecap does not slide in its natural tracks. This causes an abnormal rubbing between the thighbone and the kneecap, which is responsible for the more or less bothersome pain you can feel in your knee joint. Moreover, if you’re running, hiking, biking, or even if you play football or basketball with runner's knee, the discomfort and the pain can be different.

Consequences of a non-treated runner's knee

The unnatural rubbing of the kneecap against the femur leads to a complete deterioration of the cartilage, which surrounds and protects the kneecap. The direct consequence is knee arthritis. That is why it is important to treat your patellofemoral pain syndrome.

There are a lot of knee braces and supports dedicated to patellofemoral pain syndrome. However, only one has been developed for sport activities: the PHYSIOstrap™ SPORT*. This flexible and very thin knee brace supports and secures the knee for you to continue or recover physical activities. Its silicone tendon around the kneecap helps to keep it aligned during knee movements.


*This solution is a class I medical device that bears the CE marking under this regulation. Carefully read the instructions before use. Manufacturer: Millet Innovation. 08/2020