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Physiotherapy for Patello-femoral pain syndrome – some new thoughts



Clinician’s Corner


Physiotherapy for Patello-femoral pain syndrome in females:

The use of hip strengthening exercises


A recent study* in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy investigated the effects of offering hip abductor and external rotator strengthening for females suffering from Patello-femoral pain syndrome.

BACKGROUND: The fundamental assumption in this study is that altered hip kinematics resulting from hip muscle weakness is a contributing factor in the development of PFPS.

STUDY FORMAT: 28 females aged were divided to exercise and non-exercise groups.  The exercise group completed bilateral hip abductor and external rotator strengthening 3 times per week for 8 weeks. The non-exercise group received no specific exercise instruction. Both groups were advised that they were permitted to take over the counter pain or NSAID medication.



 Post hoc testing revealed that pain, health status, and bilateral hip strength improved in the exercise group following the 8-week intervention but did not change in the control group. Improvements in pain and health status were sustained at 6-month follow-up in the exercise group.


CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Consider the addition of hip abductor and hip external rotator exercises for female patients with patello-femoral pain syndrome.

Andrew Hosking, B.App.Sc.(Physiotherapy),Dip.Manip.Thpy, Registered Physiotherapist


*Reference: The Effects of Isolated Hip Abductor and External Rotator Muscle Strengthening on Pain, Health Status, and Hip Strength in Females With Patellofemoral Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Khalil Khayambashi, Zeynab Mohammadkhani, Kourosh Ghaznavi, Mark A. Lyle, Christopher M. Powers
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2012;42(1):22-29, Epub 25 October 2011.

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