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How to manage patellofemoral pain (PFP)

A look at the multifactorial nature and treatment options for PFP

A multitude of factors (structural, biomechanical, load-related, and psychological) were shown to be involved in patellofemoral (PFP) pain symptoms, contributing differently in each case.

Shared, patient-centered decision making is crucial to design a treatment that considers both the patient’s beliefs and expectations while providing evidence-informed interventions such as exercise, movement retraining, load management, treatment adjuncts and education.

After going through this masterclass, we have learned that not only a variety of factors play a role in PFP, but these may vary greatly from person to person. Some key points:

  • Kinematic changes are usually present both at local and peripheral levels - these changes alter the load imposed on the patellofemoral joint;
  • A targeted assessment including psychological measures(!) should be taken;
  • Exercise therapy should form the basis for treatment and include proximal and local components;
  • Treatment approaches such as movement retraining, orthoses and education should be individualized to address each patient’s needs, thus promoting optimal results.

> From: Lack et al., Phys Ther Sport 32 (2018) 155-166 (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Elsevier Inc.. Click here for the online summary.

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