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Exercise effects on patellofemoral pain and function

PainSci » bibliography » Frye et al 2012
Tags: treatment, exercise, patellar pain, self-treatment, arthritis, aging, pain problems, knee, leg, limbs, patellofemoral joint, overuse injury, injury, running

One page on PainSci cites Frye 2012: The Complete Guide to Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

PainSci notes on Frye 2012:

A review of studies of rest versus exercise for patellofemoral pain concluded that “exercise is the more effective treatment for immediate decrease in pain and increase in function,” which is great! They go on to say that “these differences appear to be less distinguishable over time,” but that’s probably not such bad news: it probably doesn’t mean the exercise effect fades away so much as people tend to eventually get better anyway. Thus, longer term studies can miss the beneficial effects of exercise. It appears exercise helps people recover a bit earlier.

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

CONTEXT: Exercise or rest is commonly prescribed as treatment for patellofemoral pain syndrome.

STUDY SELECTION: This study is based on Level I or II research studies examining the effects of exercise and rest on decreasing pain (visual analog scale) and increasing function (Kujala Scoring Questionnaire) using human participants. Articles were limited to those printed in English from PubMed (1966-September 2010), CINAHL (1982-September 2010), and SPORTDiscus (1972-September 2010).

DATA EXTRACTION: Weighted aggregate effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals were calculated from means and standard deviations extracted from 10 studies, resulting in an analysis of 433 patients.

RESULTS: A very large effect for exercise was found for patient-reported functional outcomes (d = 2.19) and perceived pain (d = -1.24) in treated patients, which were larger than functional outcomes (d = 0.77) and pain (d = -0.14) in controls. Short-term follow-up of 191 patients from 4 data sets in 2 studies revealed a large effect for functional outcomes (d = 1.04) and pain (d = -0.82) in patients who performed an exercise intervention. One study reported moderate effect sizes for functional outcomes (d = 0.59) and pain (d = -0.35) at 3 months postintervention.

CONCLUSIONS: Exercise is the more effective treatment for immediate decrease in pain and increase in function although these differences appear to be less distinguishable over time.

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