Biomechanics Differ for Individuals With Similar Self-Reported Characteristics of Patellofemoral Pain During a High-Demand Multiplanar Movement Task

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is often categorized by researchers and clinicians using subjective self-reported PFP characteristics; however, this practice might mask important differences in movement biomechanics between PFP patients. Objective: To determine whether biomechanical differences exist during a high-demand multiplanar movement task for PFP patients with similar self-reported PFP characteristics but different quadriceps activation levels. Design: Cross-sectional design. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Participants: A total of 15 quadriceps deficient and 15 quadriceps functional (QF) PFP patients with similar self-reported PFP characteristics. Intervention: In total, 5 trials of a high-demand multiplanar land, cut, and jump movement task were performed. Main Outcome Measures: Biomechanics were compared at each percentile of the ground contact phase of the movement task (α = .05) between the quadriceps deficient and QF groups. Biomechanical variables included (1) whole-body center of mass, trunk, hip, knee, and ankle kinematics; (2) hip, knee, and ankle kinetics; and (3) ground reaction forces. Results: The QF patients exhibited increased ground reaction force, joint torque, and movement, relative to the quadriceps deficient patients. The QF patients exhibited: (1) up to 90, 60, and 35 N more vertical, posterior, and medial ground reaction force at various times of the ground contact phase; (2) up to 4° more knee flexion during ground contact and up to 4° more plantarflexion and hip extension during the latter parts of ground contact; and (3) up to 26, 21, and 48 N·m more plantarflexion, knee extension, and hip extension torque, respectively, at various times of ground contact. Conclusions: PFP patients with similar self-reported PFP characteristics exhibit different movement biomechanics, and these differences depend upon quadriceps activation levels. These differences are important because movement biomechanics affect injury risk and athletic performance. In addition, these biomechanical differences indicate that different therapeutic interventions may be needed for PFP patients with similar self-reported PFP characteristics.

Seeley and Hopkins are with the Department of Exercise Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA. Son is with the Graduate School of Sports Medicine, CHA University, Seongnam-si, South Korea. Kim is with the Department of Kinesiology, West Chester University, West Chester, PA, USA.

Seeley (matt_seeley@byu.edu) is corresponding author.
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