Bournemouth Physiotherapy
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Anterior Knee Pain/Patellofemoral Pain

Also known as runner’s knee, patellofemoral pain or anterior knee pain is a common condition causing pain at the front of the knee.  It is often associated with running, cycling, or a sudden increase in activity levels.  If your pain is at the side of your knee then please see ITB syndrome.

It is characterised by a dull aching pain under or around the front of the kneecap (patella), where it connects to the end of the thighbone (femur).  Symptoms may occur when walking up or down stairs, kneeling, squatting, and sitting with the knee bent for a long period of time.

A number of factors can contribute to patellofemoral pain, including:

  • A sudden increase or decrease in exercise levels
  • Tightness, imbalance, or weakness of hip and thigh muscles
  • Flat feet (overpronation with a dropped medial arch of the foot)
  • Previous complete or partial dislocation of the kneecap
  • Previous trauma to the front of the knee


It is usually a good idea to stop the activities that aggravate your knee pain and organise an assessment with a Chartered Physiotherapist.  Depending on the assessment findings, treatment may include:

  • Manual therapy – to lengthen and desensitise any shortened, painful structures around the back, hip, knee and lower leg.
  • Specific exercises – to strengthen any weak muscle groups around the back, hip, knee and lower leg.
  • Taping/Strapping – to provide pain relief and support to the kneecap during rehabilitation.
  • Biomechanical correction of the leg and foot with supportive insoles and advice on footwear.

Patellofemoral pain usually gets better with early treatment and specific rehabilitation.

If you would like further information then please contact us.

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