Today, we are addressing the question of the effectiveness of hip exercises in the treatment of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS). PFPS has previously been regarded as a multi-factorial condition in that there could be many factors that cause this syndrome (Powers., 2012). For example, there could be mobility or strength issues in the foot, ankle, knee, hip, or back that can contribute to having pain around the patella. PFPS has been recorded as one of the most common running injuries, listed at 37.4% of all running injuries according to a study done in 2002 (Taunton et al., 2002). There have been many articles addressing hip strength or neuromuscular issues and how it impacts movement at the knee and treating PFPS. This study is a systematic review which looks at the overarching literature to determine if there are any common themes when it comes to addressing PFPS. After a comprehensive scan of the literature 18 articles addressing hip strength, 2 articles addressing neuromuscular control of the hip and 1 article addressing prevention were included in this review. The authors concluded that hip strengthening and neuromuscular control especially of the hip external rotators and hip abductors are beneficial in the treatment of PFPS.
We have to remember that PFPS is a multi-factoral condition, which means there are other areas of the body we need to consider when it relates to PFPS. Performing hip abduction and external rotation exercises may help, but if there are issues elsewhere these exercises may not be enough to address the underlying problem. If you perform these types of exercises and are not finding relief, be sure to get a thorough evaluation from a professional to determine what specifically needs to move better.