A Pain in the Knee Cap

A Pain in the Knee cap (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)


This condition affects 7% of adolescents and can be as high as 50% in the military population. It affects both the sporting and non sporting population and typically pain is felt with stairs, kneeling, running, jumping and squatting.


Treatment is based on identifying the main cause of the knee pain and with this condition there are many possible contributing factors.


  • Weakness of the muscles around the knee and hip, most commonly the quadriceps and gluteal muscles.
  • Problems with the alignment of the knee cap. It may be too high or pulled more to the outside due to tight outer thigh muscles.
  • Gait abnormalities such as overpronation where your ankles roll in excessively when you walk and place abnormal stresses on your kneecap.
  • Tight muscles such as your calves or ITB band that can contribute to overpronation and malalignment of the kneecap respectively.
  • Stiffness in your ankle and hip joints can affect your walking or running pattern and increase the load on your kneecap.
  • A sudden change in your activity levels. This may be why it is so prominent in the military population. In a sedentary person increasing activity such as more stair climbing can cause symptoms.



In summary with knee cap pain or (patellofemoral pain syndrome) it is all about identifying the cause. Here at Southside Physiotherapy Clinic we have expert clinicians who will assess you thoroughly. You may only have some of the contributing factors listed above but we will be able to identify them and lead you on the path to recovery.


Germaine Mallin Chartered Physiotherapist