Background: Patellofemoral pain syndrome is one of the most common causes of knee pain. Its prevalence is relatively high in adolescents and younger adults. However, very few clinical trials have investigated the different therapeutic approaches commonly used in its clinical management.
Objective: To measure the efficacy of myofascial manual therapy (ischemic compression)
directly to the knee for chronic patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Methods: The experimental group (N = 27) received 15 sessions of manual ischemic compression applied to peri-patellar and retro-patellar regions. The control group (N = 11) received 15 sessions of manual ischemic compression on trigger points over the hip muscles. After 30 days of follow-up, the control group was offered the opportunity to receive the study intervention. Changes in pain intensity were assessed in both groups using a visual analog pain scale and a 5-point scale to monitor the patient’s response to the patellar-grinding test. Outcomes were compared between groups using two-way repeated measures ANOVA whereas one-way repeated measures ANOVA were used to test for the main effect of time intervals.
Results: The experimental group showed a significant (p < 0.05) reduction in pain that was maintained at 30 days (from 5.97 _ 0.32 to 3.4 _ 0.45) and 6 months (from 5.97 _ 0.32 to 3.5 _ 0.53). Patellar-grinding scores improved only in the experimental
group (from 3.4 _ 0.13 to 1.2 _ 0.19).
Conclusion: A treatment regimen with 15 sessions of manual ischemic compression applied to peri-patellar and retro-patellar regions of the knee was found to be effective in short and medium term at reducing symptoms of patellofemoral syndrome for up to 6 months.
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