There is limited evidence indicating the contribution of trunk kinematics to patellofemoral pain (PFP). A better understanding of the interaction between trunk and lower extremity kinematics in this population may provide new avenues for interventions to treat PFP.
To compare trunk and lower extremity kinematics between participants with PFP and healthy controls during a stair-descent task.
Twenty women with PFP (age = 22.2 ± 3.1 years, height = 164.5 ± 9.2 cm, mass = 63.5 ± 13.6 kg) and 20 healthy women (age = 21.0 ± 2.6 years, height = 164.5 ± 7.1 cm, mass = 63.8 ± 12.7 kg).
Kinematics were recorded as participants performed stair descent at a controlled velocity.
Three-dimensional joint displacement of the trunk, hip, and knee during the stance phase of stair descent for the affected leg was measured using a 7-camera infrared optical motion-capture system. Pretest and posttest pain were assessed using a visual analogue scale. Kinematic differences between groups were determined using independent-samples t tests. A 2 × 2 mixed-model analysis of variance (group = PFP, control; time = pretest, posttest) was used to compare knee pain.
We observed greater knee internal-rotation displacement for the PFP group (12.8° ± 7.2°) as compared with the control group (8.9° ± 4.4°). No other between-groups differences were observed for the trunk, hip, or other knee variables.
We observed no difference in trunk kinematics between groups but did note differences in knee internal-rotation displacement. These findings contribute to the current knowledge of altered movement in those with PFP and provide direction for exercise interventions.