March 5, 2021

A Physical Therapist-Approved Guide to Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

In this guide we will discuss Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome which is also known as Runner's Knee.

Susan Nowell

You've just begun a new running program and are feeling great about yourself. As a result, you begin to run farther, faster, and more frequently. Suddenly, you experience pain in the front of your knee, around your kneecap, that does not go away. With each run, the pain worsens, and you realize you may have Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome


A pain at the front of your knee especially around the kneecap. It is also known as Runner's Knee, and it is very common in people who participate in running and jumping sports. If you’d like to know more about Runner's Knee check this blog out on our website. 

Before we proceed, let us emphasize the importance of warming up for at least 10-15 minutes. Watch this foam rolling video to learn how to foam roll for 10-15 minutes to release muscle knots, relieve inflammation, and improve overall comfort. 

So, what if you've been diagnosed with PFPS Stage one and want to get back on track as soon as possible? Don’y worry because our Physical Therapists have few recommendations for you!

  1. Joint Mobilization is important as pressure is applied to the knee cap. This technique helps in restoring mobility which can lead to improved knee range of motion which increases function and reduces knee pain. 
  1. Muscle Activation techniques are unique ways that help runners improve their performance by helping runners stay injury free, it addresses the root cause of common running injuries as well as speeds up recovery leading to improved performance. It is recommended to ensure a strong core and hips.

  1. 3:1 Running Ratio Method is usually for runners who are recovering from PFPS stage one. If you’re out for a run make sure that you spend 75% of your time speed-walking or walking and the remaining time to run at pace for 4 weeks. 
  1. Taping Strategy has numerous benefits when used for knee pain caused by runner’s knee. Using Tape in conjunction with other treatments during rehab to get best results such as it supports the joint, boosts circulation, decreases pain, prevents injury. To know how taping works click here.

You can also check-out knee-safe activities that Meghan Taff, our certified coach and  PT, recommends. There are other specific exercises that can help with Runner’s Knee that can help  strengthen the knees and prevent knee pain. You can read about the specific exercises here.


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