The patella (kneecap) and the femur (thighbone) work together with tissue to allow the knee to bend, straighten and twist. When the knee is under excessive stress, the femur and patella can rub against each other, resulting in irritation and damage to the cartilage between the patella and femur. This condition is known as patellofemoral pain syndrome which results in damage to the knee and pain. Our pain physicians at CLEAR Wellness Group offer patellofemoral pain syndrome treatment at our clinic in Chicago.

The patella, or kneecap, is meant to move or slide over the femur head when the knee bends and straightens. There is a “groove” that keeps the patella in place to avoid rubbing against the femur when running or walking. When the kneecap is not properly aligned, runners can have general knee pain when the patella rubs against the cartilage and femur. This pain is caused by inflammation and damage to other tissue in the knee. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is more common in runners and is often referred to as a form of runner’s knee.

Causes and Relief for Runner’s Knee

The configuration of the knee and other factors can result in a higher risk of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Women tend to have a higher risk for developing runner’s knee, but any long-distance runner could experience damage to the knee from a misaligned patella. Some factors that contribute to runner’s knee and general knee pain include:

The symptoms of patellofemoral pain syndrome cause pain in the front of the knee and surrounding the kneecap. There may be swelling and increased pain when going up or down hills. You may notice a crackling or popping sensation when running, and the knee may swell after running.

At CLEAR Wellness Group, we can diagnose and offer patellofemoral pain syndrome treatment at our clinic in Chicago. Reducing inflammation and strengthening the muscles, tendons and tissue around the knee will help manage pain and improve function. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our pain specialists.