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Papers of the Week

2021 May 05

J Sport Rehabil

The Utilization of Core Exercises in Patients With Patellofemoral Pain: A Critically Appraised Topic.


Zuk EF, Kim G, Rodriguez J, Hallaway B, Kuczo A, Deluca S, Allen K, Glaviano NR, DiStefano LJ
J Sport Rehabil. 2021 May 05:1-4.
PMID: 33952714.


Clinical Scenario: Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is characterized by general anterior knee pain around the patella and is one of the most prevalent knee conditions. PFP is challenging to treat due to a wide range of contributing factors and often has chronic, reoccurring symptoms. Traditional treatment focuses on quadriceps and gluteal strengthening with minimal emphasis on deep trunk musculature. Recently, there has been a growing body of literature supporting the beneficial effects of core stability exercises as a treatment option for PFP. Clinical Question: Are core stability exercises coupled with traditional rehabilitation more effective than only traditional rehabilitation techniques for decreasing pain in patients with PFP? Summary of Key Findings: Three articles met the inclusion criteria and investigated core strengthening exercises as a treatment for PFP. Two studies investigated a 4-week exercise protocol and demonstrated a greater decrease in pain when compared to the control group. The third study examined the effects of a 6-week program where both the intervention and control groups resulted in similar reduction of pain. All articles included received a minimum of 6 on the PEDro scale. Clinical Bottom Line: There is evidence that supports core stability exercise protocols coupled with traditional rehabilitation as being more effective in reducing pain in patients with PFP when compared to traditional rehabilitation alone. Strength of Recommendation: The grade of A is recommended based on the Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy.