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What is it?

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) is a term used to describe knee pain involving the kneecap (patella) and the thigh bone (femur). Normally, the kneecap will glide along in a groove in the middle of the thigh bone, however, the kneecap can be pulled to one side causing increased pain and discomfort. Several things can cause the kneecap to be pulled to one side, including tight and/or weak muscles, a previous injury, or even the position of your feet (for example “flat feet”). PFPS can happen in both children and adults, however, is most common in young females.

Could I have PFPS?

PFPS can cause many different symptoms, however, if you have PFPS you might experience knee pain with the following activities:

  • Squatting
  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Going up or down the stairs
  • After sitting for long periods of time

What should I do?

As there are many different reasons for why the kneecap is not moving normally, it is best to be assessed by a physiotherapist and determine the root cause of your knee pain. Your physiotherapist will perform hands on treatment and provide you with exercises to improve your knee pain and get you back to doing what you love!



  1. Nascimento LR, Teixeira-Salmela LF, Souza RB, Resende RA. Hip and Knee Strengthening Is More Effective Than Knee Strengthening Alone for Reducing Pain and Improving Activity in Individuals with Patellofemoral Pain: A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2018;48(1):19-31.
  2. Petersen W, Ellermann A, Gösele-Koppenburg A, Best R, Rembitzki IV, Brüggemann GP, Liebau C. Patellofemoral pain syndrome. Knee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy. 2014 Oct;22(10):2264-74.


By: Maddie Fyfe, Registered Physiotherapist