Foot exercises & foot orthoses are more effective than knee focused exercises in individuals with PFJ pain.

The aim of this study was to examine the effect of knee targeted exercises compared to knee targeted exercises combined with foot targeted exercises and foot orthoses in patients with patellofemoral pain.

Forty adult individuals (28 women, 12 men) diagnosed with patellofemoral pain and screened for excessive calcaneal eversion were randomized to knee targeted exercises or knee targeted exercises combined with foot targeted exercise and orthoses. The knee targeted exercises were prescribed during three supervised consultations. Individuals were instructed to perform the exercises 3 times per week during a 12-week period. The foot targeted exercises were prescribed for 2 times per week for 12 weeks with one session per week being supervised by a physiotherapist. The primary outcome was the subscale “pain” in the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) at 4 months.

Individuals randomized to knee targeted exercises combined with foot targeted exercises and foot orthoses had 8.9 points (95%CI: 0.4; 17.4) – NNT=3 (2-16) larger improvement in KOOS pain at the primary endpoint. The addition of foot targeted exercises and foot orthoses for 12 weeks was more effective than knee targeted exercises alone in individuals with patellofemoral pain. The effect was apparent after 4 months, but not significantly different after 12 months.

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