Office of Undergraduate Research

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) is a common overuse injury of the anterior knee leading to pain during physical activity. Exercise therapy, particularly quadriceps (thigh) strengthening, is effective in the treatment of PFPS. Recently, hip muscle weakness has been shown to be a factor in PFPS. A recent publication by Dr Earl demonstrated that a hip focused strengthening program was effective for treating PFPS. The current study is a randomized clinical trial comparing hip muscle strengthening vs quadriceps muscle strengthening. The purpose is to determine if there are differences in patient outcomes, strength, and running biomechanics between the quadriceps and hip focused strengthening programs. We are measuring strength, functional ability, pain, and 3-D lower extremity biomechanics during running. Patients (n=60) are then randomized into a hip or quadriceps focused 6-week rehabilitation program. Measurements are repeated 3, 6, and 24 weeks after rehabilitation.

Tasks and responsibilities:

Students will be involved in a randomized clinical trial comparing hip muscle strengthening vs quadriceps muscle strengthening. This involves hands-on examination where students are able to practice their skills. They will also assist participants with their exercises when they came in for rehabilitation sessions which was another way for them to gain experience working with patients.