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  • New in the Literature: Patellofemoral Pain in Runners (Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Dec 27. [Epub ahead of print])

    Authors of an article published online in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise say their finding of greater hip adduction in female runners who develop patellofemoral pain (PFP) is in agreement with previous cross sectional studies. These results suggest that runners who develop PFP use a different proximal neuromuscular control strategy than those who remain healthy. Injury prevention and treatment strategies should consider addressing these altered hip mechanics, they add.  

    For this investigation, the authors conducted an instrumented gait analysis on 400 healthy women runners and tracked them for any injuries that they may have developed over a 2-year period. Fifteen cases of PFP developed, which were confirmed by a medical professional. The participants' initial running mechanics were compared with an equal number of runners who remained uninjured.

    According to the results, the runners who developed PFP exhibited significantly greater hip adduction. No statistically significant differences were found for the hip internal rotation angle or rearfoot eversion.

    APTA member Brian Noehren, PT, is the article's lead author. APTA member Irene Davis, PT, PhD, FAPTA, is coauthor. 


    • Reading this summary, I thought, '"what came first - the chicken or the egg". If a runner complains of PPF pain, and concurrently, evaluation reveals excessive hip adduction - did the increased hip adduction pre-exist the knee pain and thereby cause the biomechanical problem resulting in PPF? Or did the PPF - for whatever reason - cause an altered running gait and secondarily result in excessive hip adduction? Food for thought.

      Posted by Herschel Budlow P.T. on 1/13/2013 3:42 PM

    • We would suggest that adduction is a result of glut med weakness due to biomechanical dysfunction of the lumbopelvic region.

      Posted by Acceleration Physical Therapy on 1/14/2013 12:45 AM

    • This was a prospective study, so the women were originally healthy, with no reports of pain. Then, over the course of 2 years, developed PFP. So, the implication is that the increased hip abduction predisposed the women to development of PFP, not the other way around.

      Posted by Lorna Brown -> @IX`C on 2/24/2013 5:47 PM

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