This excellent review published in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy looked at 270 of the best quality studies on patella-femoral pain (PFP) and concluded that…

The risk factors for developing PFP include:

  • Being a physically active female
  • Specializing in a single sport (doubles the risk)
  • Quadriceps weakness

The following are NOT risk factors for developing PFP:

  • Height
  • Body weight
  • Foot posture (e.g. pes planus)

 The following interventions were effective in treating PFP:

  • Exercise therapy focused on progressive hip and knee strengthening
  • Frequent exposure (daily) to activities that load the knees (i.e. running/walking) (Starting with short duration & low intensity of course)
  • Patellar taping (In conjunction with exercise therapy)
  • Pre-fabricated orthotics (In conjunction with exercise therapy)

The following interventions were NOT effective in treating PFP:

  • Ultrasound
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Dry needling
  • Spinal manipulation

Reference: Willy RW Patellofemoral Pain: Using the Evidence to Guide Physical Therapist Practice. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2019 Sep;49(9):631-632.

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