Recent Research on Patellofemoral Knee Pain – It’s All About the Angle

Do you have patellofemoral knee pain? A recent study by Christopher Powers et al. in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy suggests that knee angle during quadriceps strengthening exercises affects patellofemoral joint stress. Because excessive joint stress may contribute to patellofemoral pain, the author’s purpose was to determine which exercises were minimally stressful to the knee.


During the squat exercise, joint stress was the least in the standing position, and increased as a subject descended into the squat position, peaking at 90 degrees of knee flexion. In an open chain seated leg extension exercise the joint stress was variable depending on the type of weight used, however joint stress was generally greater when the leg was fully extended.


The authors suggest that a squat exercise from standing to 45 degrees knee flexion coupled with an open chain seated leg extension from 90 degrees to 45 degrees knee range of motion is the best combination to minimize patellofemoral joint stress and therefore strengthen the quads without increasing pain.


We can help you if you suffer from patellofemoral knee pain. Call us at 406-556-0562 (Bozeman) or 406-284-4262 (Manhattan).