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Before starting the course it is important to understand if you have knee cap pain. The following resources do not replace a consultation with a healthcare professional but may help you to understand if knee cap pain is the most likely diagnosis. If you have seen a clinician or your GP in the past, they may have described your knee pain as patellofemoral pain syndrome, chondromalacia patellae or runners knee. These all fall under the umbrella term of knee cap pain. 

Where is your knee pain? 

In individuals with knee cap pain, it is common for the pain to be felt at the front of your knee, around or behind the knee cap. Pain in other locations can suggest an alternative diagnosis. This video looks at the common locations of knee pain and helps to indicate where pain is felt in knee cap pain. 

Do you have other symptoms?

There is no definitive clinical test to diagnosis knee cap pain, however, certain criteria make the diagnosis more likely. The infographic below looks at the key criteria required to diagnose knee cap pain and a simple clinical test that is is positive in 80% of people with knee cap pain.

Diagnosis PFP-infographic.jpeg

Is imaging required?

Some people believe that changes in the structure of the knee joint is the cause of knee cap pain. However, research suggests that there is no difference in knee structure between people with knee cap pain and people without on MRI and x-ray. Therefore, imaging is not likely to help with knee cap pain diagnosis or in determining appropriate treatments.


Patellofemoral joint - part of the main knee joint where the femur (thigh bone) meets the patella (knee cap)

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