Hip Strength in Collegiate Female Athletes with Patellofemoral Pain.

Cichanowski, H; Schmitt, J; Johnson, R; Niemuth, P.

The purpose of this study was to test for strength differences of six hip muscle groups in collegiate female athletes diagnosed with unilateral patellofemoral pain compared with the unaffected leg and noninjured sport-matched controls. Thirteen athletes were diagnosed with unilateral patellofemoral pain. The injured-side hip abductor and external rotator muscle groups were significantly weaker than the noninjured sides. There were no significant differences in the other hip muscles tested. In addition, the injured legs were significantly weaker in five of the six hip muscle groups compared with the control group.  The authors conclude that the results of this study show that hip abductors and external rotators were significantly weaker between the injured and unaffected legs of the injured athletes. In addition, injured collegiate female athletes exhibited global hip weakness compared with age- and sport-matched asymptomatic controls. Screening for hip muscle weakness and adding strengthening exercises to the affected hip muscles may be important factors in managing female athletes with patellofemoral pain.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2007, 39(8), 1227-1232.

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