Current evidence supports the continued use of quadriceps exercise for the conservative management of patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), say authors of a systematic review published in International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. However, inconsistent or limited data regarding the other interventions precluded the authors' ability to make conclusive recommendations about their use. Future investigations should focus on identifying cohorts of patients with PFPS who may benefit from the other treatment approaches included in this systematic review, they add.
The authors searched PubMed, CINAHL, and SPORTDiscus databases for studies published between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2010. The review included studies that used any interventions lasting a minimum of 4 weeks for patients with PFPS. Data were examined for subject sample, intervention duration, intervention type, and pain outcomes.
According to the authors, general quadriceps strengthening was found to reduce pain in patients with PFPS. Data were inconclusive regarding the use of patellar taping, patellar bracing, knee bracing, and foot orthosis. Although emerging data suggest the importance of hip strengthening exercise, ongoing investigations are needed to better understand its effect on PFPS, say the authors.