Effects of functional stabilization training on pain, function, and lower extremity biomechanics in women with patellofemoral pain

The objective of this study was to compare the effects of functional stabilization training (FST) versus standard training on knee pain and function, lower-limb and trunk kinematics, trunk muscle endurance, and eccentric hip and knee muscle strength in women with patellofemoral pain. A combination of hip- and knee-strengthening exercise could be of greater benefit than quadriceps strengthening alone to improve pain and function in individuals with patellofemoral pain. However, there is limited evidence of the effectiveness of these exercise programs on the biomechanics of the lower extremity. The patients in the FST group had less pain at the 3-month follow-up and greater global improvement and physical function at the conclusion of the intervention compared to those in the standard-training group. Lesser ipsilateral trunk inclination, pelvis contralateral depression, hip adduction, and knee abduction, along with greater pelvis anteversion and hip flexion movement excursions during the single-leg squat, were only seen in the FST group after the intervention. Only those in the FST group had more eccentric hip abductor and knee flexor strength, as well as greater endurance of the anterior, posterior, and lateral trunk muscles, following training.

An intervention program comprised of hip muscle strengthening and lower-limb and trunk movement control exercises was of greater benefit in improving pain, physical function, kinematics, and muscle strength in comparison to a program of quadriceps-strengthening exercises alone.