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Patella Femoral pain is common among young adults and adolescents, especially those who are athletes or runners. It is caused by irritation underneath the patella (knee cap) where contact is made with the femur (thigh). The patella "floats" in a groove on the femur and irritation typically occurs if the patella is not tracking correctly within that groove, increasing the amount of pressure on the undersurface of the patella.

Symptoms

  1. Pain to front of knee or to the sides of the knee cap with activity.
  2. Difficulty going up and down steps or hills.
  3. Knee pain after being in seated positions for a prolonged period.
  4. "Popping" of the knee.

Risk Factors

  1. Imbalance of quadriceps muscles.
  2. Direct trauma to patella.
  3. Decreased flexibility of hamstrings, hip musculature, IT band and calf.
  4. Flat feet or high arch.
  5. Weak hip musculature.
  6. Genu varus or "knocked knees".
  7. Sports that involve significant running, jumping or squatting.

If you are experiencing knee pain that has not subsided in a few days, it may be difficult to determine the cause of your pain. You should consult your doctor who may refer you to a physical therapist. At Lucas Therapies, we can help you identify strength or flexibility deficits and any other risk factors that may be contributing to your knee pain. We can also develop a specific exercise program for you to address these deficits.