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What treatments are there for patellofemoral pain syndrome?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome sometimes gets better on its own without any treatment, though you may have symptoms for several years. However, painkillers and physiotherapy can help to reduce your pain.

Drugs

Simple painkillers (analgesics) such as paracetamol can help to ease pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, may not offer any additional benefit over paracetamol, and NSAIDs are more likely to have side-effects.

Physiotherapy

It’s important to keep your thigh muscles (quadriceps) strong and balanced to avoid putting pressure on your knee joint. Your doctor may give you exercises to do or suggest that you see a physiotherapist who will be able to suggest other exercises if necessary. They’ll assess your knee and decide what’s causing the pain and which exercises will best fit your particular problem. They’ll also make sure that you’re doing the exercises properly and safely.

It may take at least 12 weeks of doing exercises several times a day for a total of 30 minutes a day before any muscle imbalance or weakness is corrected, and it could be some time after that until the pain completely settles down.

Read more about physiotherapy.

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