Evaluation of Soft Foot Orthotics in the Treatment of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Janice J Eng, Michael R Pierrynowski

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Background and Purpose. The effectiveness of soft foot orthotics in the treatment of patients who have patellofemoral pain syndrome was investigated. Subjects. Subjects were 20 adolescent female patients, aged 13 to 17 years (X̅=14.8, SD=1.2), who were diagnosed with patellofemoral pain syndrome and who exhibited excessive forefoot varus or calcaneal valgus. Methods. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: a control group (n=10), which took part in an exercise program, or a treatment group (n=10), which used soft foot orthotics in addition to participating in the exercise program. The exercise program consisted of quadriceps femoris and hamstring muscle strengthening and stretching exercises. A visual analogue scale was used to assess the level of pain of the subjects over an 8-week period. Results. Both the treatment and control groups demonstrated a significant decrease in the level of pain, but the improvement of the treatment group was significantly greater than that of the control group. Conclusion and Discussion. The results suggest that in addition to an exercise program, the use of soft foot orthotics is an effective means of treatment for the patient with patellofemoral pain syndrome.

  • Received October 1, 1991.
  • Accepted September 14, 1992.