Introduction Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is common amongst recreational runners and associated with altered running kinematics. However, it is currently unclear how sex may influence kinematic differences previously reported in runners with patellofemoral pain. This case-control study aimed to evaluate lower limb kinematics in males and females with and without patellofemoral pain during prolonged running.
Materials and methods Lower limb 3D kinematics were sampled in 20 runners with PFP (11 females, 9 males) and 20 asymptomatic runners (11 females, 9 males) during a 3 km treadmill run. Data were analysed when mean-pooled as mixed sex groups (PFP versus control) and as individual sex sub-groups.
Results Mixed-sex runners with PFP were found to have significantly greater peak hip adduction (mean difference=4.9°, d=0.91, 95% CI 1.4–8.2, p=0.01) when compared to matched controls. Analyses for all other kinematic variables were non-significant. Females with PFP ran with greater peak hip adduction compared to female controls (mean difference=6.6°, p=0.02, F=3.41, 95% CI 0.4–12.8), but not males with or without PFP. Analyses of sub-group comparisons for all other kinematic variables were non-significant.
Conclusion Differences in peak hip adduction between those with and without PFP during running appear to be driven by female participants, highlighting potentially different kinematic treatment targets for the individual sexes. Future research is encouraged to report lower limb kinematic variables in runners with PFP separately for males and females.
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