While exercise may not be at the top of your what to do list, it is important for optimal health benefits. With certain exercises that use repetitive motions of your knees such as, running or cycling, you may at some point experience a painful knee injury called patellofemoral syndrome. The pain is at the front of your knee on the patella (kneecap) also known as runners knee and is said to be a very painful injury.
- Pain while exercising
- Sitting too long can cause great discomfort
- Pain when you try to stand up after sitting too long
- Very tender kneecap
- Grinding crackling noise from your knee when in use
Your doctor will perform a physical exam to see what your range of motion is and how tender your kneecap is, while also checking to see if you have any knee instability. X-rays may not diagnose patellofemoral syndrome, but they could rule out any other injuries to your knee.
- Repetitive motion will aggravate your knee so rest is best
- Practice RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
- Take NSAIDS for pain such as tylenol, advil, aleve or ibuprofen
- Lose weight
- Physical therapy
- Try using a knee brace
- Tape your knee to regain stability and reduce pain
If the above treatments don't work, your doctor may suggest knee surgery which is minimally invasive. Your surgeon will insert a small camera into the joint so that he can scrape out any damaged cartilage. This surgery is not a lifetime fix, it's more of an intervention for the time being.
The outlook for individuals with Patellofemoral syndrome is very optimistic when you get help and start treatment right away. Having a knee injury does not mean you can't exercise or be active. Simply mix up your exercise regime by incorporating more activities that are not solely dependent on your knees.