Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type

Honors Project

School

College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Martin Knight

Abstract

Although there is considerable research on stretches and strengthening exercises that could help improve function, pain, strength, and flexibility associated with the symptoms of patellofemoral pain, more research on how beneficial stretching and strengthening is compared to just stretching is needed. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of stretching and strengthening as compared to just stretching alone on flexibility, strength, function, and pain in participants with at least 50% of the symptoms and predispositions associated with patellofemoral pain. The design consisted of a control group that completed basic stretching, while the treatment group received stretching and strengthening exercises. Participants were individually evaluated before the study and at the conclusion of the study. Participants’ evaluations involved basic manipulation to check for abnormalities, measure of flexibility, measure of strength through an estimated one repetition maximum, a visual analogue scale to measure pain level, and Lysholm knee rating to determine functionality. Seven participants completed the study, three in the treatment group and four in the control group. Nonparametric tests and effect size calculations revealed no statistically significant differences between the flexibility, strength, function, and pain level of the control and treatment group at the end of the study. All participants did realize non-significant increases in functionality and a decrease in pain, but the causes of the improvements cannot be seen as a direct result of the treatment received during the study. Over half the participants had at least a 10% decrease in symptoms associated with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome from the initial evaluation to the final evaluation. All but one participant had over a 5% decrease in symptoms.

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