Ever felt pain while walking up or down a stairs? Or maybe even squatting? One of the most common conditions that you might be suffering from is called Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome( PFPS ), layman term as “runner’s knee” or as the”anterior knee pain”. It is mainly due to excessive Patellofemoral joint pressure from poor kneecap alignment, which affects the joint surface behind the kneecap.

What is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

Aching kneecaps or patellofemoral pain affect 25% of the population at some time in their lives but it is more common in athletes. The sports where patellofemoral pain syndrome is typically seen are those when running, jumping and landing or the squatting position is required.

PFPS is more common during adolescence as the long bones are growing faster than the muscles, tendons and ligaments, putting abnormal stresses on the joints. Active children who do not stretch the appropriate muscles tend to have patellar malalignment.

The most common causes of patellar malalignment are due to abnormal muscle imbalance and poor biomechanical control. Normally patella glides up and down through the femoral groove. While the knee is bent, pressure between the kneecap and the groove will increase. Vastus lateralis and IT band tightness, muscle weakness (VMO), too much exercise and abnormal lower body biomechanics (lower limbs) collectively have been found to be causes of PFPS. Together, these causes may lead to the increased patellar ‘maltracking’, breakdown of cartilage and increased shearing friction on femur. The friction can be accumulated by undergoing repeated trauma, which can lead to kneecap pain, joint irritation and joint degeneration

How do I treat PFPS?

Initially, you can try icing your knee. Icing is a simple and effective modality to reduce your pain and swelling during the acute stage. Applying for 20-30 minutes each 2 to 4 hours during the initial phase or when you notice that the knee is warm or hot.

However, seeking professionals will help increase the chances of fully curing PFPS.

Physiotherapy intervention has been proven to be a very effective short and long-term solution for kneecap pain. Studies have proved that approximately 90% of PFPS patients will be pain-free within six weeks of starting a physiotherapy rehabilitation program for PFPS.

Using different kinds of techniques, therapist will focus on relieving the pain first. Regaining full range of passive motion and restoring full muscle length will be the next target for the treatment to improve your lower limb biomechanics and muscle balance.

Physioclinic’s therapists will tailor an individualised exercise program for patients, assisting them return to sports. Upon the consultation, they will discuss your goals and expectation, time frames and training schedules to optimise you for a complete and safe return to sports  through a rehabilitation program which perfectly minimising the risk of future reinjures.

However surgery may be required to repair associated injuries that are severely damaged or arthritic joint surfaces.

Recovery is the process of returning an individual muscle to its pre exercise state. There are many ways to speed up recovery due to sport injury.

Using the PRICE method, the PRICE acronym stands for protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.

First, protect the injured by using supports to prevent further injury, rest to avoid any activities to strain the affected area. Ice to temporary relief short-term rest, ice helps reduce swelling by reducing blood flow to affect areas. Compression help reduces the swelling on affect areas. Lastly, Elevation reduces swelling by lifting the affected area above the level of the heart and also reduces the amount of blood flow to the affected area.

Our therapist will need to assess the severity and stage of the injured condition before implementing the best appropriate treatment methods to aid in recovery. Some of the methods may include using massage, heat treatment, ultrasound therapy, alternating hot–cold water treatment and rehabilitation are also useful to speed up recovery.

Massage is able to enhance the recovery time by being directed to the affected area and also relax the musclo-skeletal system. Massaging the affected area increase the blood flow of the tense and pressured muscles where the circulation is inhibited. Blood contains oxygen and other substances that are important for the growth and repair the tissues. It can also enhance the circulation of blood flow of the joints, ligaments and tendons (Jari Ylinen, Mel Cash, 1988).

Heat treatment uses heat pads, wheat bag, and deep heat cream to be applying on the affected area. As heat causes the dilation of the blood vessels which allows more blood to the affected area stimulating the area that being damage and heal it. However, heat treatment can only be used on an injury that is older than 48 hours. Using heat treatment on a new injury will make the situation worse by causing the injured area to bleed more around it. Ice treatment uses ice packs on the affected area helps to prevent bleeding and inflammation, also reduce spasm or pain to the muscles and numbing the area that’s painful and limit the swelling effects.

Ultrasound therapy uses high energy sound waves, that helps reduce swelling, chronic inflammation and promote the healing process of fracture bone as it stimulate the flow of the blood in the affected area.

Hot and cold immersion therapy uses alternation of warm water and cold water to reduce swelling of the surrounding affected areas or assist with the recovery from exercise and enhance the recovery of the muscle as the levels of blood lactate concentration is being reduced. As warm water dilation the blood vessels allowing the blood flow through the affected area, which able to deliver vitamins, blood cells and nutrients to help heal the affected area. Following by using the cold water which causes the narrowing of the blood vessels which decrease the blood flowing through the affected area reduce inflammation and pain as it limits the blood flowing and lymph fluids to the affected area. However avoid using this therapy during the acute inflammation stage which lasts for about 72 hours.

Rehabilitation programme progressively introducing the affected area with exercises and movement to help the affected area return to its normal function. This will help to mobilize the affected area as soon as possible and enhance the recovery process.

With the different methods and treatments, we are able to enhance and speed up the recovery process of the affected area.

Early Verus Delayed Rehabilitation after Acute Muscle Injury

Quoted from Research:

Starting rehabilitation 2 days after injury rather than waiting for 9 days shortened the interval from injury to pain-free recovery and return to sports by 3 weeks without any significant increase in the risk of reinjury. The observed difference supports the importance of early loading of injured musculotendinous tissue. Immobilization can swiftly and adversely affect muscle and tendon structure and function and has detrimental effects on connective-tissue cells



Job Vacancy for Physiotherapist



We are looking for suitable candidates to join us!

  • Able to work independently in areas of musculoskeletal/ sports cases
  • Good interpersonal skills, maintain high standards of quality service and professionalism.
  • Self-motivated to keep up-to-date with advances in the field of physiotherapy
  • Positive attitude, good team player


  • Degree/Diploma in Physiotherapy.
  • Registered with AHPC

Attractive remuneration package and benefits will be offered to successful candidates, with relevant experience. Only Singaporean/ Singapore PR can apply 5.5 days work week

Interested candidates, pls email detailed resume to contact@physioclinic.sg including your recent photo, stating current and expected salary.



Information given will be kept confidential.




Physioclinic is proud to announce the opening of new clinic at Marine Parade Centre, Eastern part of Singapore

Physioclinic in the East provides physiotherapy services such as ultrasound therapy, electrical stimulation, joint mobilisation/manipulation, sports massage, trigger point therapy, therapeutic exercises, clinical pilates.

Conditions suitable for physiotherapy:

– Head/ Neck pain: cervical spondylosis, slipped disc, headaches, migraines, Stiff neck, Wry Neck,  Cervical Radiculopathy, Whiplash

– Back pain: backaches, postural misalignment, sciatica, herniated disc, spondylisthesis, spondylolysis, lumbar radiculopathy, degenerative disc, weak back muscles

– Shoulder pain: Stiff shoulder/Frozen shoulder/ Adhesive Capsulitis, Rotator cuff tendinitis, shoulder dislocations, Shoulder Arthritis

– Elbow pain: Tennis Elbow(Lateral Epicondylitis), Golfers Elbow(Medial Epicondylitis)

– Wrist / Finger Pain: Wrist sprain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, Flexor carpi ulnaris tendinitis, Trigger Finger, Rheumatoid Arthritis

– Knee pain conditions – anterior knee pain, chrondromalacia patella, ACL laxity, meniscus injury, ligament strain, patella tendinitis, osteoarthritis, sports injuries

– Foot Pain: ankle sprain, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, metatarsal fractures, shin splints, archilles tendinitis, flatfeet, avulsion fractures 

CALL our physiotherapist at 96390509 or EMAIL US


PHYSIOCLINIC in the East is located at 1 Marine Parade Central, #12-05 Parkway Centre 449408.