The exercises below are designed to help with the recovery from patellofemoral syndrome. The aim of the exercises are to stabilise the affected limb, strengthen the patellar tendon and help staying active even during the acute phase of the symptom presentation. Here are 3 example exercises:
Wall sits isometrics. A basic exercise but used for many knee injury rehab programs. Place your whole back against the wall, with a mild flexion of both hips and knees, averaging 120 degrees. Lift one leg up off the floor, so your bodyweight is only resting on one leg. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds depending on the difficulty of doing the exercise and/or your pain level. This exercise can be repeated 3 times for each leg.
Wobble board stability. A basic exercise consisting of standing, one leg at a time, on a wobble board (can easily be found online or in sports shops), with a mild knee bend (to unlock the knee joint and make the muscles work more efficiently). Ensure to find your stability, resisting the collapsing of the ankle inwards, or the body weight shift towards the outside. Can be done every 2 days, aiming to work on each leg for approximately 10 mins in total, with an extra 5 mins focus on the “weaker”, affected leg.
Cycling (during recovery phase). Cycling (either on a moving bicycle or on an indoors static one) is a very good exercise to maintain a level of activity and movement in the affected knee during the acute (most painful) phase of the symptoms presentation. Ideally, the activity session on the bike shouldn’t be longer than 30-45 mins at a time, in order to ensure the knee and mainly the quadriceps muscles are active and loaded, without stressing the patellar tendon.
*It is recommended to get the go ahead from your physical therapist or GP before carrying out any of these exercises.