Prevalence of myofascial trigger points in the hip in patellofemoral pain

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Mar;94(3):522-6. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.10.022. Epub 2012 Nov 2.


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) in the gluteus medius (GMe) and quadratus lumborum (QL) for subjects with patellofemoral pain (PFP), and to examine the relationship between MTrPs and force production of the GMe after treatment.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: A physical therapy clinic.

Participants: Subjects (N=52; mean age ± SD, 30±12y; mean height ± SD, 172±10cm; mean mass ± SD, 69±14kg) volunteered and were divided into 2 groups: a PFP group (n=26) consisting of subjects with PFP, and a control group (n=26) with no history of PFP.

Interventions: Patients with PFP received trigger point pressure release therapy (TPPRT).

Main outcome measures: Hip abduction isometric strength and the presence of MTrPs.

Results: Prevalence of bilateral GMe and QL MTrPs for the PFP group was significantly higher compared with controls (P=.001). Subjects in the PFP group displayed significantly less hip abduction strength compared with the control group (P=.007). However, TPPRT did not result in increased force production.

Conclusions: Subjects with PFP have a higher prevalence of MTrPs in bilateral GMe and QL muscles. They demonstrate less hip abduction strength compared with controls, but the TPPRT did not result in an increase in hip abduction strength.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Hip*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome / rehabilitation*
  • Prevalence
  • Trigger Points*