Alternative Treatments for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

If you’re experiencing persistent and uncomfortable pain in your knee, it may be an indication of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. It prevalent knee ailment causes pain in the front of the knee, particularly around the kneecap.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome is also referred to as jumper’s knee or runner’s knee, and studies indicate that it is often seen in individuals engaging in sports-related activities. Nevertheless, non-athletes may suffer from this condition due to kneecap alignment issues or overuse.

The discomfort and stiffness caused by Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome can make it challenging to perform daily activities such as climbing stairs or bending. Thus, seeking prompt treatment is essential to preserve the flexibility and mobility of your knee joints.

Most symptoms are typically managed by conservative treatment methods such as physical therapy or modifying your activities. Keep on reading to know more about various alternative treatments for patellofemoral syndrome.

Non-Invasive Alternative Treatments for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Weak muscles and overuse of knee joints are the primary contributors to Patellofemoral pain syndrome. The stress from these causes will lead to severe pain and irritation in the knee joints. In most cases, Patellofemoral pain syndrome is permanently treated without surgical procedures.

The non-surgical treatment generally involves modifying activities, medications, and physical therapy. The recovery time of these treatments is relatively shorter than surgical procedures and allows you to gradually return to your daily activity within weeks. The ultimate goal of the treatment is to relieve pain and restore the range of motion in your knees. 

Here’s the list of effective alternative treatment approaches for Patellofemoral pain syndrome.

  •  Acupuncture

Acupuncture is mostly preferred alternative patellofemoral pain syndrome treatment that allows patients to walk or move more freely. The primary sign of the condition is potent knee pain, and the knee might unexpectedly give away.

Besides, if any one of the bones in the knee is slightly moved from its original position, it will lead to the syndrome.

Acupuncture techniques can treat such misalignment. Inserting sterilized and tiny needles into the pressure points will move the bones to their original place to relieve pain. It also boosts blood circulation to the injured area and releases stress/ tension in the muscles. 

However, rather than a treatment, acupuncture is a preventive measure for runners and athletes to prevent injury. Also, make sure to find a qualified practitioner who will help you improve the biomechanics of your body, effectively reducing the friction between joints.

  • Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is one of the evidence-based and long-term treatments for patellofemoral pain syndrome. A well-experienced chiropractor will address the root cause, including the functional and structural variations. Gentle therapy tends to resolve muscle weakness and imbalance, improve the condition long-term and prevent a recurrence.

It works by correcting the misalignment of joints, allowing it to regain its optimal functionality. The professional will implement effective and particular chiropractic manipulation and mobilization methodologies to treat the limited mobility of your knee joints. 

Modalities such as ultrasound, laser, and interferential therapy are used to accelerate the recovery. You are also instructed on dietary adjustments, supplements, and an individualized exercise plan with chiropractic care.

  • Kinesiology Taping

Research shows promising results when Kinesiology taping is incorporated into the treatment plan for patellofemoral pain syndrome. It is a common technique that focuses on decreasing pain through proprioceptive input without limiting the complete range of motion. 

With the taping benefits, the patients can significantly improve their symptoms and allow them to move more comfortably on performing strengthening exercises.

Kinesiology tape is therapeutic equipment that is applied to the body in a specific direction to reduce swelling and improve the functionality of the joints. 

As a rehabilitative method, it facilitates the body’s natural healing process by providing stability and support to the muscles and joints. The tape is stretchable and resists adhesive, allowing extended movement. In addition, the taping procedure decompresses the tissue tension, thus sending signals to the brain. 

  • Mind-Body Therapies

Mind-body therapies are typically incorporated into treating patellofemoral syndrome to manage chronic pain. The mind and emotions play a critical role in the experience of pain, despite the source. The underlying cause might amplify the perception of pain. 

The approach of mind-body therapy aids in changing the mental or emotional state of the patient by training attention or inducing relaxation.

Depending on the patient’s health condition, they are used as a single or adjunct to other therapies. The therapy includes muscle relaxation, meditation, mind-targeted approaches, hypnosis, yoga, cognitive behaviour therapy, biofeedback, and more to alleviate the pain. 

General physicians consider this therapy an effective way to improve outcomes in patients with chronic pain in knee joints.

  • Massage Therapy

Knee pain from the syndrome is mostly caused by the injury of the cartilage, which acts as the cushion for the joints. Experts show that patients who undergo massage therapy tend to experience less pain and improved functionality of the joints. The productive approach tends to increase serotonin, a natural pain-relieving hormone that reduces anxiety and induces deep sleep.

The gentle yet firm kneading and stroking movements in massage therapy will bring more oxygenated blood to the injured area. 

Moreover, the increased blood circulation will initiate the natural healing and immune response to repair the damaged soft tissue. It focuses on the quadriceps muscles, relieves tension, and stretches the hamstrings, glutes, and flexors.

Conclusion

It is common for every individual to experience knee pain at some point in their lifetime, especially as they age. But frequent episodes of knee pain at a young age that often worsen with activities like squatting or running might indicate damage or injury to the knee cap. When left untreated, such dull aches in the knee due to patellofemoral syndrome will worsen and affect mobility.

When it comes to patellofemoral pain syndrome treatment, most patients prefer to rely on minimally-invasive pain-management therapies to induce the body’s natural healing process, alleviating inflammation and pain. In addition, implementing healthy lifestyle changes and activity modifications that put stress on your knee will assist in better recovery from the syndrome in the long term.

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