Patellofemoral pain syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome or PFPS is one of the most common injuries in running and jumping. It accounts for half to two-thirds of running-related knee pain.
Despite being so common, its cause remains vague and discussed. The onset is often insidious, located around the kneecap. No specific cause has been constantly reported, other than overuse.
Key facts of PFPS
Women are twice as likely to sustain PFPS compared to men. A potential cause is that women may show increased hip internal rotation, leading to a reduced peak external knee rotation - more on that later. Women also have a greater amount of tibial external rotation during the stance phase.
All combined, this may result in joint misalignment and subsequent knee pain.
On top of this, a greater knee abduction - seen in most women - also adds to the stress applied to the patellofemoral joint during the run.
To sum it up
Women have a “natural” tendency for joint misalignment and increased loads, exacerbated by the running activity.