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Eccentric drop squats as a means of conservative treatment for patellofemoral pain syndrome Pearce, Teri Lynn


Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is one of the most common causes of anterior knee pain seen in the field of sport medicine. The multiple variations in the pathophysiology of patellofemoral syndrome provide clinicians with numerous challenges when formulating appropriate treatment plans, with treatment often providing transient relief. The purpose of the present study was to determine if individuals suffering from PFPS are weak eccentrically in comparison to healthy controls, and if a closed kinetic chain (CKC) eccentric drop squat program can improve muscular strength and functional capacity in this group. Seventeen individuals suffering from PFPS between the ages of 19 to 35 years, and 18 healthy controls between the ages of 20 to 36 years participated in the study. Both groups were put on a 12 week CKC home eccentric drop squat program, and tested at 0, 4,8, and 12 weeks using the kinetic communicator (KINCOM®) to measure isokinetic eccentric and concentric strength and using the Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment (VISA) Score as a subjective measure of pain and function. Results indicated that there were no statistically significant improvements in eccentric and concentric strength of the quadriceps and hamstrings of the injured and noninjured legs in both the PFPS group and the control group at 60 and 120 degrees per second. Analysis of the graphs show that the healthy controls were in fact stronger eccentrically, but not to a degree of statistical significance. The VISA score was significantly higher for the control group in comparison to the PFPS group. The results do not statistically support the hypotheses of this study. Although the graphs suggest that the PFPS group is weaker then the control group, and feedback from the PFPS group suggests that the eccentric drop squat program has improved their perceived pain and function, which is of clinical relevance to practitioners.

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