A comparison of hip strength between sedentary females with and without patellofemoral pain syndrome

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2010 Oct;40(10):641-7. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2010.3120.


Study design: Cross-sectional study.

Objective: To compare the hip strength of sedentary females with either unilateral or bilateral patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) to a control group of sedentary females of similar demographics without PFPS.

Background: It has been suggested that hip muscle weakness may be an important factor in the etiology of young female athletes with PFPS. This syndrome is also common in sedentary females and it is unclear if similar findings of hip weakness would be present in this population.

Methods: Females between 15 and 40 years of age (control group, n = 50; unilateral PFPS, n = 21; bilateral PFPS, n = 29) participated in the study. Strength for all 6 hip muscle groups was measured bilaterally on all subjects using a handheld dynamometer.

Results: The hip musculature of sedentary females with bilateral PFPS was statistically weaker (range, 12%-36%; P<.05) than that of the control group for all muscle groups. The hip abductors, lateral rotators, flexors, and extensors of the injured side of those with unilateral PFPS group were statistically weaker (range, 15%-20%; P<.05)than that of the control group, but only the hip abductors were significantly weaker when compared to their uninjured side (20%; P<.05).

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that hip weakness is a common finding in sedentary females with PFPS.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Hip Joint / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Muscle Weakness / diagnosis*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Young Adult