Monday, April 2, 2012

Runner's Knee - Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

Runners Knee - Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome Runner's Knee is a generic term used to describe a number of medical conditions that cause pain around the front of the knee (patellofemoral pain). There is no single cause of Runner's Knee. However, there are a number of contributing factors that have been identified. These include intrinsic issues such as poor joint alignment, patella tracking problems and muscle imbalances; and extrinsic factors such as over training and unsuitable sports equipment (eg. running shoes). All of these factors, whether intrinsic or extrinsic, result in additional stresses on the supporting tissue of the knee joint.

The underlying mechanisms of pain may be varied but the symptoms are described as pain (normally, but not always, a dull ache) around the front of the knee, often on the inside of or underneath the kneecap. This pain is worse during or after squatting, running (especially on hills), prolonged sitting with the knees bent, and descending stairs. There may also be increased pain with activity following inactivity.

It is difficult to conduct medical research with this condition due to the nature of the causes. The available research generally focuses on surgical management but there is general agreement on non-surgical management principles1.

Compression Treatment for Knee Pain - Runners Knee Common symptom management strategies include the Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (RICE) protocol in the acute phases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and stabilisation of the patella. Patellar bracing that supports the kneecap can allow the sufferer to commence rehabilitation exercises sooner and ultimately lead to an earlier return to sport. Studies have shown that supporting the patella can lead to a decrease in symptoms in a large percentage of patellofemoral pain sufferers (50%2 and 92%3 to give 2 examples).

So we know that putting a support on the affected knee can reduce pain and aid stability. Some of these studies are very dated and the results show the effectiveness of knee supports even without the stretch, fit and comfort of the Active650 range of knee supports. The advances in fabric technology that Active650 have brought to the knee support market means that the effective just got super-effective.

Knee Support - Compression treatment of Knee Pain The Active650 range of knee supportsprovide the most efficient way to stabilise the supporting structures of the knee joint. The superior compression prevents the vibration and oscillation of the muscles and tendons, thus minimising the stresses on these tissues without ever pressing the kneecap too firmly. With an Active650 not only do you get the previously demonstrated benefits, you get a support so comfortable the only way you know you’re wearing it is because of the lack of pain. Put an Active650 on it and you’ll be able to push your game harder earlier!

Ben Scott, BSc (hons)
Anatomical Sciences

1) Collado H. and Fredericson M. (2010) Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. Clinical Sports Medicine 29;379-398
2) Powers C.M., Shellock F.G., Beeriing T.V., Garrido D.E., Goldbach R.M. and Molnar T. (1999) Effect of bracing on patellar kinematics in patients with patellofemoral joint pain. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 31(12) 1714-20
3) Palumbo P.M. (1981) Dynamic patellar brace: Patello-femoral disorders: A preliminary report. American Journal of Sports Medicine 9; 45-49

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