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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I am a runner with chronic patellofemoral pain syndrome. I try not to let this limit my training, but sometimes it's very hard. I've used shoe orthotics, a neoprene sleeve for the knee, and a Cho-pat strap with no change in my symptoms. Would some kind of taping for the knee help me?

PFPS causes pain around and under the patella (kneecap). Activities that increase the load on this joint aggravate the condition. For example, many patients with PFPS report that walking, running, and using stairs make their symptoms worse. Moving the knee after a long period of sitting can also cause pain. Nonpharmacologic treatment for this problem include exercise therapy, manual therapy, and ultrasound or other physical agents. It sounds like you've tried the most common conservative treatment for PFPS. Specific exercises, taping, and manual therapy to mobilize (move) the patella have some reported success. A more recent study has been published that also supports the need to strengthen hip muscles (abductors and external rotators). Taping may be helpful but at present, there are no high quality reviews of studies to provide evidence supporting patellar taping. This does not necessarily mean taping does not work for this problem. Many athletes and active young adults with PFPS seem to find the best results using a combination of treatment methods. The same group of interventions doesn't always work for everyone. It usually takes a period of trial and error to find the right mix for each person. A physical therapist can help you with this. The therapist will evaluate you carefully for any postural, neuromuscular, or structural causes of your PFPS. Treatment begins with efforts to restore normal flexibility, alignment, strength, and endurance. Adjustments to the treatment program and progression of the exercises should include specific sports training to help you advance in your athletic pursuits.


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