Objectives Task-specific movement training is a proposed intervention for patellofemoral pain aimed to optimise movement during daily tasks. Focused, progressive task practice emphasising optimal limb alignment may yield improvements in performance-based function and hip muscle strength, and transfer learnt movement patterns to untrained tasks. The purpose of this study was to determine if task-specific movement training improves performance-based function (composite score, movement, pain during movement) in an untrained task. Our secondary purpose was to test whether hip muscle strength improved following the movement training intervention.
Methods This study was a secondary analysis of a prospective, non-randomised, within-group, double-baseline study. Twenty-three females with patellofemoral pain underwent task-specific movement training two times/week for 6 weeks. Outcomes were collected at three time points: enrolment (baseline), 6 weeks (preintervention) and 12 weeks (postintervention). A repeated measures analysis of variance tested whether the change during the intervention phase was greater than the change during the control phase. Y-balance composite score, hip and knee kinematics and pain during the Y-balance test were primary outcome measures; strength of the hip lateral rotator, abductor and extensor muscles was a secondary outcome measure.
Results The change in composite score for the Y-balance test was not statistically significantly different between the intervention and control phases (p=0.16). The change during the intervention phase exceeded the change during the control phase for hip and knee kinematics and pain during the Y-balance test, with all variables improving (p<0.0001). The change during the intervention phase was greater than the control phase for hip muscle strength, with all variables improving (p<0.04).
Conclusion Although the Y-balance test composite score did not improve, performance-based function during an untrained task, measured by movement and pain during the test, improved following task-specific movement training. Hip muscle strength improved, despite no focused muscle strengthening.
Level of evidence Level II.
- knee injuries
- physical and rehabilitation medicine
- treatment outcome
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request.
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Contributors EKA contributed to conceptualisation, data analysis and interpretation, and original draft preparation. CEL, LRVD and BY contributed to conceptualisation, methodology development, data interpretation and critical review. KSM contributed to data analysis and interpretation and critical review. BY and GBS contributed to data acquisition. GBS contributed to conceptualisation, methodology development, data analysis and interpretation, funding acquisition and critical review.
Funding Funding for this project was provided by the NIH/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) grant UL1 TR000448, NIH/National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research grant R01 HD047709, Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences CTSA 705, the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy, Doisy College of Health Sciences.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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