Electromyographic fatigue characteristics of the quadriceps in patellofemoral pain syndrome

Man Ther. 2001 Feb;6(1):27-33. doi: 10.1054/math.2000.0380.


This study compared the fatigue characteristics of the vastus medialis oblique (VMO), vastus lateralis (VL) and rectus femoris (RF) muscles. Ten healthy subjects with 10 patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) performed an isometric leg press for 60 seconds at 60% MVIC with data collected using surface EMG. The power spectrum was analyzed and the extracted median frequency normalised to calculate a linear regression slope for each muscle. A repeated measures ANOVA revealed no significant differences, neither between the groups (P=0.592) nor the muscles (P=0.434). However, the slopes for the VMO and VL were different between the two groups with similar slopes for the RF. There was much larger variability of MF values in the PFPS group. The VMO:VL ratio calculated from these slopes for the healthy subjects was 1.17 and for the PFPS group was 1.78. These results may indicate unusual features in the fatigue indices of the quadriceps in PFPS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Electromyography*
  • Femur*
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction
  • Muscle Fatigue*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Patella*
  • Syndrome
  • Thigh*