Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of core neuromuscular training on pain, balance, and performance in women with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).
Methods: This randomized single-blind trial was based on a convenience sample of 28 women with unilateral PFPS. All participants were assigned randomly to the intervention or control group with a block randomization method. The control group received routine physical therapy exercise for PFPS. The intervention group received core neuromuscular training in addition to routine physical therapy exercise. The outcome measures evaluated were pain intensity (Visual Analog Scale), function (Kujala patellofemoral questionnaire and step-down performance test), and balance (Y balance test).
Results: In both groups the pain score was significantly lower after treatment (P = .001). The slope of this trend was greater in the intervention group. The Kujala and step-down scores improved significantly after treatment in both groups, although the improvements were greater in the intervention group. The Y balance score improved in all 3 directions after therapy in both groups (P < .05); improvement was significantly greater in the intervention group only in the posteromedial direction (P = .016).
Conclusion: For the group of participants studied, a 4-week core neuromuscular training plus routine physiotherapy exercise was more effective than routine physiotherapy exercise alone for improving pain, balance, and functional performance in individuals with PFPS.
Author keywords: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome; Exercise; Postural Balance; Physical Therapy Modalities; Knee Joint
Author affiliations: AM, MM, MBM, NN, NA, NE: Department of Physiotherapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Fars, Iran; AM: Rehabilitation Sciences Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
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