Patellofemoral Pain

What is Patellofemoral pain or PFP?

PFP usually presents as anterior knee pain, typically when performing activities such as squatting, running and stair climbing. PFP will often stop you from performing these tasks and reduce the ability to participate in physical activity and work and lifestyle related activities without the onset of pain. In typical presentations of PFP there is tenderness over the patella, pain on sitting or rising from sitting, straightening in the knee and a sensation of grinding and crepitus during flexion and extension of the knee.

Who gets PFP?

PFP is prevalent in 7-28% of all adolescence. However is also prevalent in males and females of all ages, particularly those at risk of developing osteoarthritis and degenerative conditions of the knee.

What are the risk factors for developing PFP?

  1. Abnormal patellofemoral point alignment;
  2. Muscles weaknesses and deficits in the quadriceps and gluteals;
  3. Abnormal or altered biomechanics

In a 2016 study it was determined that exercise therapy that combined strengthening of the muscles of the hip and knee was the most beneficial in reducing pain in the immediate future as well as producing long term outcomes.

Recommended Exercises:

Clams: lie on your side, ensure your hips are stacked one on top of the other, squeeze the heals together and lift the top knee. Ensure that you can feel your glutes or bottom muscles working as you lift the leg.

Clams Stage 1

Clams Stage 2

Gluteal Bridge: Lie on your back with your hands on the floor. Have your feet hip distance apart. Pressing through the heels, lift your hips and low back off the floor, ensure you squeeze your bottom at the same time.

Gluteal Bridge Stage 1

Leg Extension over Foam Roller: sit with your injured leg resting on the foam roller, turn your foot out slightly. By squeezing your quadriceps (leg muscles) straighten your leg, slowly return to start position.

Leg Extension with Foam Roller Stage 1

Leg Extension with Foam Roller Stage

Calf Raises: Stand with your feet hip distance apart and your feet aligned. Raise onto your toes and then lower back down in a controlled manner.

Calf Raise Stage 1

Calf Raise Stage 2

Other treatments you may find helpful:


  1. Osteopathy – our experienced practitioners may be able to apply hands on therapeutic treatment to assist in alleviating some of your pain.
  2. Ice – if you find that you are sore after performing your exercises or are experiencing pain applying a cold compress may be helpful in reducing inflammation around the knee joint.
  3. Anti-inflammatories – if you find that you are experiencing increased inflammation then anti-inflammatories may be helpful, however, please check with your GP or pharmacist prior to commencing a course of medication.
  4. Rock-Tape – some patients find that rock-tape is helpful in reducing pain and allowing them to function on a daily basis without significant increases in pain.
  5. Individually tailored exercises – our Accredited Exercise Physiologists are well versed in providing individualised exercise prescription to assist in pain management strategies.



If you have any questions about any of the above information please do not hesitate to contact our friendly reception staff who will direct you in the most appropriate direction of treatment for you.

ph 9876 5815



Crossley, K.M., van Middelkoop, M., Callaghan, M.J., Collins, N.J., Skovdal Rathleff, M., Barton, C.J. (2016). 2016 Patellofemoral pain consensus statement from the 4th International Patellofemoral Pain Research Retreat, Manchester Part 1 and Part 2. British Journal of Sports Medicine.

This blog provides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately qualified physi­cian or other allied health care practitioner.

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