View Full Version : Patellofemoral Syndrome

Matthew Schomaker
04-09-2004, 11:34 AM
Does anyone have experience (either directly or indirectly) with patellofemoral pain syndrome? I was just diagnosed (ironically just before starting my cross fit workouts) and am doing the exercises the sports medicine doc suggested, but I wanted to hear what others have experienced with it. Thanks

Brian Hand
04-09-2004, 11:49 AM
Matt, the good news is that strengthening the vastus medialis, the teardrop shaped head of the quadricep just inside the knee, fixes the problem for a lot of people. A strength imbalance between the heads of the quad pulls the patella off its proper track at the end of the femur; correcting the imbalance will relieve the problem.

In a small percentage of cases, it is the outer head of the quad that is weak, and there are other causes, so you'd definitely want this tested before going off and doing rehab focused on the inner head. It is a two second test that any qualified doctor or therapist can do.

I read an article a long time ago reporting that the women's weightlifting team at the USAF academy got good results from wide stance squats. I always thought front squats were the best thing for that head, and my girlfriend got good results with front squats - relief in less than two weeks. I know the last few degrees of leg exts are standard rehab for this msucle, but I think the front squats are better.

I also have a half baked theory that the problem is poor neural control of that head of the muscle, and I think "quad setting" - contracting the quad with a straight leg, isometrically - with a finger on the medialis - might help get the fibers firing if that is an issue. It won't hurt.

Emil Berengut
04-09-2004, 11:51 AM
Matthew, I've been dx'd with knee problems galore. I tried supplements, nsaids and Physical therapy. the only thing that's working so far is hamstring exercises in addition to crossfit,iceand knee braces.

Alex Kus
04-09-2004, 02:21 PM

I was diagnosed with Patellofemoral Syndrome about five years ago. I found what helped the most was stretching my hamstrings, calves, hip flexors and glutes. Ice was also a very good treatment for right after exercise. They also found that I over pronated and that that aggravated the problem. You might want to check that out. A big thing for me was to make sure my toes always pointed forward when I was walking or exercising, not out to the side at all, that seemed to help a lot.

Carl Herzog
04-10-2004, 10:17 AM
Matt, you've been given some good advice so far. Direct ice massage on the periphery of the kneecap immediately after a workout, stretching (especially quad stretches), and strengthening the vastus medialis worked best for me. Glucosamine/chondroitin may help as well.

As for quad setting, my therapist recommended it although it didn't help as much as traditional strengthening work. Might work for others, though.