A proximal progressive resistance training program targeting strength and power is feasible in people with patellofemoral pain

Phys Ther Sport. 2019 Jul;38:59-65. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2019.04.010. Epub 2019 May 2.


Objectives: To evaluate the feasibility of a 12-week progressive resistance training program for people with patellofemoral pain (PFP) targeting proximal muscle strength and power; and resulting clinical and muscle capacity outcomes.

Design: Feasibility study.

Setting: Clinical environment.

Participants: Mixed-sex sample of people with PFP.

Main outcome measures: Feasibility outcomes included eligibility, recruitment rate, intervention adherence, and drop-outs. Secondary outcomes included perceived recovery, physical function (AKPS and KOOS-PF), worst pain (VAS-cm), kinesiophobia (Tampa), physical activity (IPAQ), and hip strength (isometric and 10 repetition maximum) and power.

Results: Eleven people, from 36 who responded to advertisements, commenced the program. One participant withdrew. Ten participants who completed the program reported improvement (3 completely recovered; 6 marked; and 1 moderate). Higher AKPS (effect size [ES] = 1.81), improved KOOS-PF (ES = 1.37), and reduced pain (ES = 3.36) occurred alongside increased hip abduction and extension dynamic strength (ES = 2.22 and 1.92, respectively) and power (ES = 0.78 and 0.77, respectively). Isometric strength improved for hip abduction (ES = 0.99), but not hip extension.

Conclusion: A 12-week progressive resistance training program targeting proximal muscle strength and power is feasible and associated with moderate-large improvements in pain, function, and hip muscle capacity in people with PFP. Further research evaluating the efficacy of progressive resistance training is warranted.

Keywords: Exercise; Patellofemoral; Power; Strength.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Hip / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome / rehabilitation*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Resistance Training / methods*