Why Is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome Common in Athletes?

Athletes are usually at the peak of the fitness pyramid. Their bodies can cope with rigorous training sessions and intense conditioning workouts, which normal people usually struggle with. However, no matter how well trained the body is, it also has its limitations. When the body’s threshold is exceeded, it protests in the form of body pain and discomfort.

The knees are the largest weight-bearing joints in the body. They carry the majority of your body weight and play a vital role in enabling physical mobility. That’s why the knees are also prone to injuries, which our doctors in sports medicine, Boca Raton have dealt with many times.

A study published in the Academic Emergency Medicine Journal has shown that every year, there are 2.5 million cases of knee injuries in adolescent athletes alone. One of the most common is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS).

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome in a nutshell

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, also known as runner’s knee or jumper’s knee, is characterized by pain in the anterior portion of the knee and around the kneecap (patella). It is usually manifested by young adults who engage in sports.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome happens when there is some irritation, injury, or damage caused to the soft tissue structures that surround the knee cap. These include the muscles, tendons, and synovial tissue that lines the knee joint.

Signs and Symptoms of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

If you are suspecting having PFPS, our doctor for sports medicine in Boca Raton advise you to look for the following signs and symptoms:

  • Dull, aching pain in front of the knee, which is usually related to physical activity
  • Pain when doing activities that involve repeated bending of the knee
  • Crackling or popping sound when standing up after sitting for a long period of time, or when climbing the stairs
  • Pain when changing the intensity, or level of physical activity
  • Pain after prolonged sitting with knees bent

Why is Patellofemoral Pain Common in Athletes

The knee pain in PFPS can be caused by many factors, according to a study published in Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. These might be anatomical factors, such as having flat feet, rear foot eversion, and weak hip muscles, which can overload the knee joint and increase the stress received by the patella during physical activity.

Patellar malalignment can also contribute to the development of PFPS. Normally, when the knee is bent, the sides of the patella and the walls of the trochlear groove (the area where the kneecap rests when the knee is bent) should be almost parallel. When there is patellar malalignment, bending the knee pushes the patella out to one side of the groove. This can irritate the surrounding tissues as the pressure between the patella and the trochlea increases.

In athletes, vigorous physical activities are usually the norm. This makes them prone to developing overuse injuries. Repeated activities that involve the knees, such as jumping, running, jogging, climbing stairs, and cycling can put too much stress on the knee joint, leading to patellofemoral pain. A sudden increase in the frequency or intensity of physical activity without giving the body enough time to adjust is also a contributing factor.

Learn more about Orthopedics in Palm Beach County

Orthopaedic Surgery Associates has helped many orthopedic patients improve their health and quality of life throughout the years. We have qualified specialists and state-of-the-art technology so you can be sure that you are in good hands.

If you have been experiencing knee pain, don’t hesitate to consult our specialist orthopedics in Palm Beach County to get a thorough assessment and accurate diagnosis of your condition. You can also request an appointment or call us at (561) 395-5733.

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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health