Patellofemoral Syndrome Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo, and today I’m
gonna show you some exercises and some stretches to help with patellofemoral syndrome. Huh?
Yeah, what is that? Well basically the “patello”part means the patella, which is your kneecap.
And “femoral” is the femur bone which is your thigh bona, and basically in just simple terms,
what that means is your kneecap is not tracking correctly on that thigh bone which can be
very painful. A lot of times that can be cased by weakness of the inner muscle and tightness
of the outer muscle, so I’m gonna show you today how to fix that. So the first set of
exercises we’re gonna do is called the 4-way hip, and I’m gonna have you do them today
on the ground. So you just lie down flat on the ground. The first one is just what we
call a straight leg raise. And so you’re gonna have one up for support and this actually
helps your back a little bit. Sometimes people keep both legs down. I like when you bend
the knee up a little bit because I think it takes the pressure off your back. You don’t
want to fix one thing and then irritate something else. So with the straight leg raise, you
want to pull your toes towards you, and that’s gonna straighten out your leg and tighten
up those muscles. Cause you want to keep you leg as straight as possible. When you start
lifting it up, you don’t want your knee to bend, so if your knee’s bending, try to squeeze
you leg nice and tight to keep it straight. So what you’re gonna do is just bring it up,
nice and controlled, and you’re just gonna bring it equal to the other side. So it’s
not coming straight up, but just to about tight here. And then you’re slowly gonna come
down. Don’t let gravity just drop your leg down. It’s just as important going down as
it is going up. So starting off you’re just gonna do 10 on each side. And then, I’m actually
gonna flip over this way and move to my right leg, but you wanna do them all on one side
and then go to the other side if you need to. So then the next one you’re gonna lie
on your side. You bottom leg is gonna curl up just a little bit. You can keep it bent
but the one on top you wanna keep straight. You want your body to be in a straight line.
So you don’t want your hip going forward like this cause that’s gonna change the muscles
that you’re working. So if you can, keep your body nice and straight. And same thing, you
want to pull your toes up towards you so you’re gonna lock your leg out. And then you’re gonna
keep it straight, keep it nice and tight, keep the toes pointed forward and you’re gonna
go straight up to the side. Same thing you just want it to be maybe a 45 degree angle.
You don’t want to kick it all the way up cause then you’re gonna start irritating stuff.
You’re just gonna bring it to about right here, and then nice and slow coming down.
as well. And 10 of those. And then you would flip sides to stay on the same leg, but I’m
just gonna show you going back to the other side. You’re gonna straighten out that bottom
leg. Some people cross their foot and put it on top, some people keep it in the back.Just
so you can see, I’m gonna keep mine in the back, but you wanna be still on your side,
so you don’t want your hips rolling forward, you don’t want then rolling back. You want
to be pretty much perpendicular to the ground. And what you’re gonna do, again keep that
leg nice and straight, pull those toes up towards you, and you’re gonna lift your leg
up this way. Now this isn’t gonna be a big movement. You’re not gonna be able to hike
it all the way up cause then your gonna have to use other muscles. So if you just bring
it about a foot off the ground, that’s fine as long as you’re controlling it. So going
slowly down, and slowly back up. And then the last one of the 4-way hip is gonna be
on your tummy. This one’s really important to try and keep your leg straight, cause this
is the one that if people are gonna bend their knee, they’ll probably bend their knee. If
you can, keep it nice and straight, pull your toes up towards you. Again this one’s not
gonna be very high either. You’re just gonna come maybe about a foot off the ground and
then nice and slow back down. So just start off with 10 in each direction. And if that’s
easy, you can bump it up to about 20. If you get t o20 and it’s still easy, then you can
add some weights to your ankle. The next one that you’re gonna do is to get the outer foot
going to the outer side going down to the ground. You want to get this inner portion
of your leg working and this is called your VMO, maybe that’s what your therapist will
call it. And that’s the muscle that helps track that kneecap or that patella. So you
really want to strengthen that one. This is called external rotation of the hip with the
straight leg raise. So you’re gonna turn your foot out towards the ground. Pull those toes
up towards you. And now you’re bringing up this way. Same kind of thing, you don’t want
to kick all the way up, that’s gonna start messing up some other stuff. But you want
your leg to be turned out and going up and down. Nice and slow and controlled. Same thing,
just start off with 10 of those to see how it feels, work your way up til you get to
20-25 and it’s easy. Start adding some weights on there. The last thing I’m gonna show you
is to stretch out your IT band. Cause just like you want to strengthen that VMO muscle
on the inside, you want to stretch out that IT band cause if it’s tight, it’s gonna pull
that kneecap towards the outside. And then the tracking that we were talking about, the
tracking of the knee, isn’t gonna be tracking like it’s supposed to and that what’s gonna
cause you pain. So you want your kneecap to be tracking very nicely on that thigh bone,
that femur, so then you’re gonna stretch out your IT band. Now I have a video that shows
you a whole lot of IT band stretches, so if you want to check out that, please go check
that out cause I’m just gonna show you one stretch right now. What you’re gonna do is
you’re gonna bring your leg up and back, it’s important instead of just going straight back,
to go up, and back cause that takes the IT band over the bone there so you can get it
nice and stretched out without irritating it. So you’re gonna bring it up, back, and
just drop it down. Now if your IT band is tight, just this is gonna be a good stretch.
If it’s not stretching a lot, you can get up on the couch, lie on the couch, so then
your foot can go down further. Again you can go check out that IT band video for other
stretches for that. Alright, so there you have it. Those were your exercises and stretches
for patellofemoral syndrome. No make sure you go get checked out by a doctor or therapist
because sometimes it can be your foot pattern when you’re running, so sometimes just some
inserts can really help that out as well, besides the stretches and the exercises. If
you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section. And if you want to
go check out the other videos, the IT band stretches video, please go to
And remember, be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.