HIP ABDUCTOR MUSCLE VOLUME AND STRENGTH DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WOMEN WITH CHRONIC HIP JOINT PAIN AND ASYMPTOMATIC CONTROLS

Review written by Dr Jarod Hall info

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES

Chronic hip joint pain (CHJP) is often associated with labral tears, femoroacetabular impingement, chondral lesions, and structural instability of the hip. CHJP very often leads to significant activity limitations in young to middle-aged adults which results in greater degrees of disability. Several previous studies have shown that people with CHJP demonstrate hip abductor muscle weakness in their symptomatic hip as compared to asymptomatic individuals. This weakness may be due to a number of factors, including pain experienced during strength testing, muscle atrophy due to disuse, reduced neuromuscular activation, or muscle inhibition due to increased intra-articular fluid induced by injury. Several previous studies have measured gluteus medius (G-Med) cross-sectional area (CSA) in those with hip pain/hip OA and demonstrated conflicting results. Therefore, the researchers in this study aimed to compare measures of hip abductor muscle volume and hip abductor muscle strength between women with CHJP and asymptomatic controls.

METHODS

This study was performed as a secondary analysis of a parent study to compare measures of hip abductor muscle volume and hip abductor strength between women with CHJP and matched asymptomatic participants. Participants in the study were 30 females aged 18-40 who had complaints of anterior hip and groin pain lasting longer than 3 months in duration. The subjects’ pain had to be reproducible with anterior hip impingement testing (FADIR test). Control participants reported no current hip or other lower extremity pain. For both groups, exclusion criteria included (1) previous hip surgery or fracture, (2) contraindication to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), (3) pregnancy, (4) self-report of neurological involvement that influenced coordination or balance, and (5) body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 kg/m2. Handheld dynamometry “break testing” placed 4cm proximal to the lateral malleolus was used to assess hip strength and MRI was utilized to visualize hip muscle CSA.

RESULTS

Compared to the controls, participants with CHJP had significantly greater gluteal muscle volume on their involved side. Compared to the controls, women with CHJP had significantly decreased hip abductor muscle strength. There were no significant differences in tensor fascia lata

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