Inclusion criteria

· Symptoms of anterior knee pain for at least 1 month

· Average pain level of 3 or more on a 10-cm visual analog scale during stepping up and down of a 30 cm high bench

· Anterior or retropatellar knee pain on at least 2 of the following activities: prolonged sitting, climbing stairs, squatting, running, kneeling, and hopping/ jumping

· Presence of two of the following clinical criteria on assessment: pain during apprehension test, pain during the patellar compression test, and crepitation during the compression test

Exclusion criteria

· Previous knee surgery or arthritis

· History of patellar dislocation or subluxation, or ligament laxity

· Patellar tendon pathology or chondral damage

· Spinal referred pain

· History of other abnormalities such as leg length inequalities (N 2 cm)

· Medication as a part of the treatment

· Previous physical therapy or acupuncture treatment for the knee within the previous 30 days