Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is one of the most frequent running-related injuries. However, few interventions taking into consideration the specificity of running have been shown to be effective in runners with PFP.
To evaluate the effects of a multimodal rehabilitation program including lower-limb-strengthening/motor-control exercises, advice on running biomechanics, and symptoms management on symptoms, strength, and ground-reaction forces in runners with PFP.
Pre- to post- quasi-experimental.
Gait-analysis laboratory and private physical therapy clinic.
21 runners with PFP (34.1 ± 6.0 y old, symptoms duration 38.1 ± 45.5 mo).
An 8-wk multimodal rehabilitation program including lower-limb- and core-strengthening and motor-control exercises, as well as advice on running gait and symptoms management.
Main Outcome Measures:
The Activities of Daily Living Scale of the Knee Outcome Survey (KOS-ADLS) questionnaire and visual analog scales for usual pain (VAS-U), worst pain (VAS-W), and pain during running (VAS-R) were used to assess changes in symptoms and function. Vertical ground-reaction forces (VGRF) during running and lower-limb isometric strength were also measured.
Statistically and clinically significant improvements (P < .001) were reported on KOS-ADLS (+17.8 pts), VAS-U (−19.2 pts), VAS-W (−28.7 pts), and VAS-R (−32.2 pts) after the intervention. No significant changes in isometric strength were observed. The instantaneous vertical loading rate was decreased after the intervention (P = .002), and this reduction was correlated with changes in KOS-ADLS scores (P = .028).
This multimodal intervention was successful in reducing pain and improving function of runners with PFP. However, no significant changes in lower-limb strength were observed. It appears that changes in VGRF combined with appropriate training advice could explain the clinical outcomes.