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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Thijs 2011.

Poor correlations with patellofemoral pain: hip strength, q-angle, age, weight

updated
Thijs Y, Pattyn E, Van Tiggelen D, Rombaut L, Witvrouw E. Is hip muscle weakness a predisposing factor for patellofemoral pain in female novice runners? A prospective study. Am J Sports Med. 2011 Sep;39(9):1877–82. PubMed #21632979.
Tags: patellar pain, running, etiology, arthritis, aging, pain problems, knee, leg, limbs, overuse injury, injury, exercise, self-treatment, treatment, pro

PainSci summary of Thijs 2011?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

Contrary to a trendy theory, this study specifically looked for and could not find a causal connection between hip strength and runner’s knee: “there was no significant difference in strength of any of the assessed hip muscle groups between the runners who did and did not develop patellofemoral dysfunction syndrome.” There are other considerations, but the study is of good quality (for a cohort) study, and I have confidence in at least one clear implication of the results: based on this data, hip weakness is not predictive of anterior knee pain in middle aged female runners.

Incidentally, they also eliminated several other causal contenders: according to their data, Q-angles, age, and weight/BMI were all irrelevant to developing pain.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstractAbstracts 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.

BACKGROUND: Hip muscle weakness has been proposed to contribute to patellofemoral malalignment and the development of the patellofemoral dysfunction syndrome (PFDS). However, from the retrospective studies that have addressed this issue, it is still unclear if hip muscle weakness is a cause or a consequence of PFDS.

PURPOSE: This study was undertaken to investigate if hip muscle weakness is a predisposing factor for the development of PFDS.

STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study (prognosis); Level of evidence, 2.

METHODS: Before the start of a 10-week "start to run" program, the isometric strength of the hip flexor, extensor, abductor, adductor, and external and internal rotator muscles was measured in 77 healthy female novice runners. During the 10-week training period, patellofemoral pain was diagnosed and registered by an orthopaedic surgeon.

RESULTS: Statistical analysis revealed that there was no significant difference in strength of any of the assessed hip muscle groups between the runners who did and did not develop PFDS. Logistic regression analysis did not identify a deviation in strength of any of the assessed hip muscle groups as a risk factor for PFDS.

CONCLUSION: The findings of this study suggest that isometric hip muscle strength might not be a predisposing factor for the development of PFDS.

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