Female Runners Who Develop Patellofemoral Pain Have Greater Hip Adduction

The findings of a study published online in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise that determines that greater hip abduction is present in female runners who develop patellofemoral pain (PFP) is in agreement with previous studies, according to the authors of the study. For the study, researchers conducted an instrumented gait analysis on 400 healthy female runners and tracked the participants for any injuries that may have developed over the course of a 2-year period.

The purpose of the study was to prospectively compare running mechanics in a group of female runners who went onto develop PFP compared to healthy controls. It was hypothesized the runners who developed PFP would exhibit greater hip internal rotation and hip adduction, as well as greater rear foot eversion.  

The participants’ initial running mechanics were compared with an equal number of runners who remain uninjured. The findings show that a total of 15 cases of PFP developed, and a medical professional confirmed each case. The results of the study reveal that the runners who developed this condition exhibited considerably greater hip adduction. However, no statistically significant differences were found for the hip internal rotation angle or rear foot eversion.

The results of the study suggest that runners who develop PFP utilize a different proximal neuromuscular control strategy than those who remain healthy. The authors of the article state that injury prevention and treatment strategies should consider addressing these altered hip mechanics.

Source: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise