Hip Abductor Strength & Patellofemoral Pain | Modern Manual Therapy Blog - Manual Therapy, Videos, Neurodynamics, Podcasts, Research Reviews

Hip Abductor Strength & Patellofemoral Pain

Hip Abductor Strength & Patellofemoral Pain - themanualtherapist.com

Hip Abductor Strength & Patellofemoral Pain

Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is one of the most common knee conditions experienced by adolescents and young adults. PFP is characterized by pain around or behind the knee cap, aggravated by squatting, climbing stairs, running or jumping. Individuals with PFP present hip muscle strength deficits, specifically concerning hip abductors, extensors, and external rotators.

Van Cant et al. (2021), compared clinical measures of
Hip abductors function [isometric strength, isometric endurance, and dynamic endurance]
between Individuals with PFP [More severe v. less severe symptoms].

60 participants with PFP were divided 3 times into 2 groups according to three symptomatology criteria:
  • Functional capacity.
  • Pain frequency.
  • Pain severity.
Main outcome measures:
  • Isometric strength.
  • Endurance [max reps & max holding time].
  • Functional capacity [Anterior Knee Pain Scale].
  • Pain frequency.
  • Pain severity [Numeric Pain Rating Scale].


Functional Capacity:
No significant differences between the two subgroups for the three hip muscle function measurements.

Pain Frequency:
No between-subgroup differences were found in general characteristics.

On average, participants with more frequent vs. less frequent symptoms had a decrease of:
  • 10% in isometric strength.
  • 17% in isometric endurance.
  • 13% in dynamic endurance
Pain Severity:
No significant between-subgroups differences in general characteristics.

Participants with more severe vs. less severe symptoms had a decrease of:
  • 16% in isometric strength.
  • 24% in isometric endurance.
  • 23% in dynamic endurance.

Clinicians should incorporate assessment of hip abductor strength and endurance for individuals with PFP.

They should expect that patients with more frequent or more severe pain will have weaker, less enduring hip abductor muscles.

Van Cant et al. 2021. Influence of symptom frequency and severity on hip abductor strength and endurance in individuals with patellofemoral pain. PT in SPRT, (49), pp. 83-89.

Dalton Urrutia, MSc PT

Dalton is a Physical Therapist from Oregon, currently living and running the performance physiotherapy clinic he founded in London for Grapplers and Strength & Conditioning athletes. Dalton runs the popular instagram account @physicaltherapyresearch, where he posts easy summaries of current and relevant research on health, fitness, and rehab topics. 
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