Which is the best predictor of excessive hip internal rotation in women with patellofemoral pain: Rearfoot eversion or hip muscle strength? Exploring subgroups
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Background: Patellofemoral pain (PFP) has been linked to increased patellofemoral joint stress as a result of excessive hip internal rotation. Lower hip strength and/or excessive rearfoot eversion have been used to explain such altered movement pattern; however, it is unknown which one is the best predictor of excessive hip internal rotation. Research question: To investigate if peak rearfoot eversion and/or peak concentric hip abductor strength can predict peak hip internal rotation during stair ascent in women with PFP. Methods: This cross-sectional study included thirty-seven women with PFP which underwent three-dimensional kinematic analysis during stair ascent and hip abductor strength analysis in an isokinetic dynamometer. A forced entry linear regression model analysis was carried out to determine which independent variables present the best capability to predict the hip internal rotation. Results: Peak concentric hip abductor strength significantly predicted peak hip internal rotation during stair ascent (R-2 = 0.27, p = 0.001). Peak rearfoot eversion did not predict peak hip internal rotation during stair ascent (R-2 < 0.01, p = 0.62). A Post-hoc analysis was conducted to explore if a subgroup with excessive rearfoot eversion would predict hip internal rotation. Based on a previous reported cut-off point, 48.6% of the participants were classified as excessive rearfoot eversion. For the subgroup with excessive rearfoot eversion, peak concentric hip abductor strength and peak rearfoot eversion significantly predicted peak hip internal rotation during stair ascent (R-2 = 0.26, p = 0.02; R-2 = 0.42, p = 0.003, respectively). For non-excessive rearfoot eversion subgroup, peak concentric hip abductor strength significantly predicted peak hip internal rotation during stair ascent (R-2 = 0.53; p < 0.001); and peak rearfoot eversion did not (R-2 = 0.01; p = 0.65). Significance: Findings indicate that hip muscle strength seems to be related with hip internal rotation in all women with PFP. Rearfoot eversion seems to be related with hip internal rotation only in a subgroup with excessive rearfoot eversion.
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