Anteromedial versus posterolateral hip musculature strengthening with dose- controlled in women with patellofemoral pain: a randomized controlled trial

Review written by Tom Goom info

Key Points

  1. 46 women with patellofemoral pain were included in this RCT which compared strengthening the anteromedial hip muscles (adductors, flexors and internal rotators) with the posterolateral hip muscles (abductors, extensors and external rotators).
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Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is recognized as a multi-factorial condition but one where exercises to strengthen the hip and knee muscles can be beneficial (1). For the most part, hip exercises have tended to focus on the gluteal muscles which can be effective for improving pain and function, especially when combined with quadriceps strengthening (2). The exact mechanism of action for this is unclear and some studies show the addition of strength work on top of education and activity modification doesn’t significantly improve outcomes (3).

This raises some intriguing questions: does it actually matter which muscles are the target of our rehabilitation? Are there other hip muscles that we may benefit from strengthening? This study sought to explore this by comparing the effectiveness of strengthening the anteromedial hip muscles versus posterolateral hip strengthening.

Patellofemoral pain is recognized as a multi-factorial condition.
Assessment of each individual patient’s strength should help us identify which is a priority for their rehab.


This randomized controlled trial recruited 52 women with PFP, 46 of which completed the study and all assessments. Participants were randomized to either the anteromedial hip strengthening group (AMHG) or the posterolateral hip strengthening group (PLHG).

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