Patellofemoral pain syndrome (pain around the knee cap) is the most frequent cause of knee pain and the most common diagnosis seen in sports medicine and physical therapy clinics. The condition is often the result of a change in the dynamic alignment of the leg and knee joint during functional activities such as squatting, stair climbing, and running. Contributing factors often include a loss of ankle mobility, as well as, hip weakness. Many people assume the hip abductors or glut medius musculature is to blame, but without a thorough assessment most important muscle impairments are missed. A new article reports on which muscle groups are weakest among males with patellofemoral pain syndrome.
The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy reported on the strength differences between males and females with knee pain (Hoglund et al. 2018). Authors recruited 36 asymptomatic males and 36 males with patellofemoral pain syndrome into their study and examined the strength of their hip and knee joints. The authors found significant differences in gluteus maximus or hip extensor strength between the two male groups. Interestingly, no differences were noted between gluteus medius or hip abductor strength. This study highlights strength differences between females, frequently hip abductor weakness, and males with knee pain.