Exercise therapy for patellofemoral pain syndrome

E Heintjes, MY Berger, SMA Bierma-Zeinstra, RMD Bernsen, JAN Verhaar, BW Koes

This review aims to summarise the evidence of effectiveness of exercise therapy in reducing anterior knee pain and improving knee function in patients with PFPS.  From 750 publications 12 trials were selected. All included trials studied quadriceps strengthening exercises. Outcome assessments for knee pain and knee function in daily life were used in a best evidence synthesis to summarise evidence for effectiveness.  The authors conclude, the evidence that exercise therapy is more effective in treating PFPS than no exercise was limited with respect to pain reduction, and conflicting with respect to functional improvement. There is strong evidence that open and closed kinetic chain exercise are equally effective. Further research to substantiate the efficacy of exercise treatment compared to a non-exercising control group is needed, and thorough consideration should be given to methodological aspects of study design and reporting.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006 Issue 4

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