This month one of the leading groups in patellofemoral pain syndrome (pain around your knee cap or PFPS,) have published their research on the best conservative management of this tricky condition. Christian Barton, Dylan Morrissey and their team have been involved in analysing the evidence base for patellofemoral pain for the past decade. Their recent publication is a systematic review of all systematic reviews, looking at management of this problem and including a significant number of expert clinical opinions from some of the best physiotherapists in the world.
A Common Complaint
PFPS is one of the most common complaints amongst our patients; from keen runners who have changed their training plan, or added a new challenge a little bit too quickly, those clients with mild underlying Osteoarthritis who have been on a walking holiday involving a lot more hills than usual, to the gym goer who has enthusiastically added in travelling lunges with bag weight on their shoulders and started to notice pain. There are many reasons for PFPS but usually it is due to some change in the load on the front of the knee, which irritates the patella joint, or surrounding soft tissue.
What Should Be Assessed?
There are also many contributing factors that need to be addressed in treating each individual fully. Christian and his team highlight which of these factors are important to assess in order to gain a clear treatment plan for that person. These factors include hip control, gluteal strength in functional positions, patella mobility, quadriceps firing and movement pattern correction to name a few. Each programme is then tailored to the individual and complemented by taping and mobilisation techniques to aid (hopefully) pain free exercise.
Treatment Should be Manageable and Realistic
The central message of Christian and his team’s work is that of supporting and educating clients so that they commit to the treatment plan, keeping it manageable and realistic, whilst also ensuring it does the job. Keeping to the important exercises and not overloading with quantity without quality of movement, ensuring realistic timescales are given and progression is graded up steadily to allow return to desired sports at the earliest opportunity is also important. With everyone on the same page, it ensures that time wasting treatments and unnecessary procedures are not considered. The combination of a cutting edge research, alongside specialist and experienced physiotherapy care could not be better. Get your knee pain sorted for once and for all by contacting us today to arrange your first appointment.
Post by Leanne Plenge, Physiotherapist and Bristol Manager.