Effect of eccentric isotonic quadriceps muscle exercises on patellofemoral pain syndrome: an exploratory pilot study

Asian J Sports Med. 2011 Dec;2(4):227-34. doi: 10.5812/asjsm.34747.


Purpose: There is a decrease in quadriceps muscle strength in subjects with patellofemoral pain syndrome. Various types of strengthening exercises of the quadriceps are done as part of its management, but the effect of isotonic eccentric quadriceps muscle exercises on patellofemoral pain syndrome has not been studied. Hence the aim of this exploratory pilot study was to evaluate the effect of eccentric quadriceps training in patients with patellofemoral pain.

Methods: Twenty patients (12 female and 8 male, mean ages, 27.50 +/- 6.6 years) with patellofemoral pain syndrome were treated. The eccentric training of the quadriceps was given using a Baltimore Therapeutic Equipment (BTE) Primus machine. The main outcome measures used were percentage time on target as shown by the BTE primus machine, SF-36 Health questionnaire and patellofemoral pain severity scale. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 13.

Results: All the outcome measures showed significant improvements (P<0.05). Percentage time on target improved with a mean difference of 23.6, the SF-36 questionnaire showed an improvement in physical component score, mental component score and bodily pain with a mean difference of 10.9, 2.6 and 29.2 respectively and pain score when taken using patellofemoral severity scale also improved with a mean difference of 3.4.

Conclusion: Isotonic eccentric training of quadriceps muscles was found to be effective in reducing pain and improving the functional status of patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome and can be suggested as part of the treatment.

Keywords: Eccentric Exercises; Isotonic Contraction; Muscle Strength; Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome; Quadriceps Muscle.