Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The aims of the present investigation were (a) to evaluate the effect of eccentric quadriceps training in patients with unilateral patellofemoral pain and (b) to compare the effect of eccentric and concentric quadriceps training in patients with bilateral patellofemoral pain. Fifteen patients (9 male and 6 female, aged 17–36 years with a mean of 27.5 years) participated in this study. Nine patients had unilateral pain and trained their painful leg eccentrically, while six had bilateral pain and trained one leg eccentrically and the other concentrically. Quadriceps muscle training was performed on a Kin-Com dynamometer at 90°/s and 120°/s angular velocity twice a week for 8 weeks. Before and after the treatment period the thigh muscle torques were measured on the Kin-Com dynamometer at 60°/s, 90°/s, 120°/s and 180°/s for quadriceps and at 60°/s and 180°/s for hamstrings. Nine controls, matched for gender and age with the group with unilateral pain, were tested in the same way on the Kin-Com dynamometer. For functional evaluation a knee score was calculated before training, after 8 weeks of training and at a mean of 3.4 years after completion of the training. After 8 weeks of training and at follow-up times of 1 and 3.4 years the patients were also questioned regarding whether or not they felt improvement from the training programme. To determine the degree of knee pain during the training Borg's pain scale was used. The results showed that, compared with the controls, the patients had a significantly lower knee extensor torque in their painful leg at all velocities measured. The greatest difference was found during eccentric actions. However, in comparison with the controls there were no significant differences in eccent ic and concentric knee flexor torques. After training there was a significant increase particularly in eccentric but also in concentric torque of the knee extensor in the painful leg of the eccentrically trained group. Of the six patients in the bilateral training group there were five who increased their concentric knee extensor torque and three who increased their eccentric torque. There were no significant differences in concentric and eccentric knee flexor torques before and after training in either of the legs in both training groups. The hamstring/quadriceps ratio was significantly higher in the patients' painful leg before training. However, due to increased quadriceps strength the hamstring/quadriceps ratio dropped after training. Patients in both groups reported no pain or mild pain during the training sessions. The eccentrically trained group was significantly improved both after 8 weeks of treatment and at follow-up 3.4 years later as evaluated using the knee score. The bilaterally trained group was significantly improved 3.4 years after completion of the training programme as evaluated using the knee score.
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