Effects of quadriceps strengthening for patellofemoral pain
Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is a common musculoskeletal condition. Although quadriceps strengthening is widely used in the treatment of PFPS, a 2003 review found reduced evidence supporting its use. Since then, various studies on this topic were published, and thus an updated review was performed. This systematic review found strong evidence for the use of quadriceps strengthening exercises, alone or with other interventions, in the treatment of patellofemoral pain syndrome.
After a database search and application of exclusion criteria, 7 studies of good to excellent quality were included. Study quality was assessed with the PEDro scale. The selected outome measures were pain and function post-intervention and at varied follow-up periods.
Studies involving isolated quadriceps strengthening found a reduction in pain and increased function post-intervention when compared to controls. Most studies involving quadriceps strengthening combined with other interventions found a reduction in pain post-intervention, when compared to advice and education or placebo regardless of the type of exercise used. Inconsistent results were found when comparing function between intervention and comparison groups post-intervention and at 12 months.
In conclusion, there is strong evidence for the use of isolated quadriceps exercises 3 times per week for the treatment of PFPS. No additional benefit was found of adding other interventions to quadriceps strengthening regarding function.
> From: Kooiker et al., J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 44 (2017) 391-402. All rights reserved to All rights reserved to Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy . Click here for the online summary.