Patello-femoral Pain



4-6 weeks for pain change. 10-12 weeks for real change.

Fad pad irritation

What is patello-femoral pain?

Dodgy-kneecap-itis. When your knee cap doesn’t ‘track’ well in the groove of the thigh bone. When its unhappy, the knee cap ‘tracks’ to the outside and can lead to a variety of unpleasant aches, pains and noises. Also known as ‘movie-goers knee’ (pain sitting for long periods), runner’s knee (pain when running) or the unfortunately titled ‘chondromalacia patella’ (sounds like you’re dying but is actually just rough cartilage on the back of the knee cap). Pain can be located anywhere around the front of the knee or even in some cases – the back of the knee. Weird.

Why does patello-femoral pain happen?

This is THE question. Mostly, it helps to look above and below the knee for the ‘why’. So is your ankle moving well? Is your foot doing some uncontrolled flattening? Or up the other end of the leg – is your hip stiff? Buttock muscles weak? Most of these knee cap issues have a problem with a weak thigh muscle – try putting both legs out on a couch and tighten them and see if there is a difference between R and L. Often the reason this problem doesn’t just get its own self better is due to pain. Pain can stop your inside thigh muscle working and this can = more pain!

What can you do about patello-femoral pain?Patello-femoral Physiotherapy in Newcastle.

Find the cause – first up. Get your Sherlock bones into gear and work with your physio on figuring out a reason for the painful season. Then, fix up the bits that are driving the knee pain. Stretch a stiff hip, strengthen your thigh, mobilise a stiff ankle etc. Physio can help with pain by taping your knee cap towards the inside, massaging the tight bits and mobilising joints that are too stiff. And – stop doing truckloads of squats, lunges and burpees – glorious exercises but likely to annoy your knee pain and slow down your recovery.

How long will patello-femoral pain take?

If you’re not seeing any change in 4-6 wks, either the diagnosis is wrong or the treatment needs to be changed. Muscles really need 3-6 months to get their groove on but pain reduction should be much quicker.


Learn how to tape your own knee. We believe in getting you to take on the treatment for yourself and ‘own it’. Get your physio to show you how to tape so you’ve got more control over the management of your dodgy knee. Make sure to tape up the fat pad (cushion below the knee cap) – its a nasty little blighter and can actually be one of the main sources of pain in dodgy-kneecap-itits.

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If pain persists, you may require the help of a professional physio. Contact Brightside Physio to make an appointment.


Brightside Physio
90 Elder St
Lambton (Newcastle)
NSW 2299

New location!
15 Lambton Rd
Broadmeadow (Newcastle)
NSW 2292



Find parking via De Vitre Street and walk down side alley to Elder Street entrance.



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Call us on (02) 4062 8862