The purpose of the present study is to review the existing literature regarding the response of the vastus medialis oblique (VMO) and vastus lateralis (VL) muscles of patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) to open and closed kinetic chain exercises.
Search methods: A search was conducted for randomised and non-randomised controlled trials published by July 2016 and involving comparative analysis of exercise treatment with control groups or various exercise treatment types. The following resources were searched: the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group and Cochrane Rehabilitation and Related Therapies Field specialised registers, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, The Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CINAHL.
Data collection and analysis: Trials were excluded if they were not concerned with exercise therapy in individuals with PFPS. Thus, only nine out of 91 trials found were included and they all employed statistical techniques to assess the response of VMO and VL muscles to open and closed kinetic chain exercises.
Main results: The trials under review are too few in number and are inconsistent with regard to rehabilitation strategies and outcome assessment. They underline the necessity for reviewing RCT trials on a wider scale as the evidence they supply in support of use of open and closed kinetic chain exercises is insufficient. Trials have to be comparable in terms of participant traits, intervention and outcome assessment to improve the validity of the conclusions drawn. It was not possible to definitely say whether one intervention was better than another, because different interventions were implemented in the reviewed trials. Furthermore, future research should also include placebo-controlled trials to ascertain the efficiency of various interventions.