The purpose of this study was to determine whether various positions of the lower extremity affect the muscle activity of the vastus medialis obliquus (VMO) differently during both open and closed kinetic chain exercise conditions among patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). Patients who presented with symptoms consistent with PFPS completed a series of open kinetic chain and closed kinetic chain exercises in which VMO activity was measured and compared. Statistical analysis revealed that there is less than a 0.001% (open kinetic chain) or 0.005% (closed kinetic chain) chance that all positions activate the VMO equally. In open kinetic exercise, maximum VMO activity was achieved with terminal knee extension with medial tibial rotation. During closed kinetic exercises, squats with external rotation were preferred for maximum VMO activation. Therefore, our results highlight the importance of including both the open and closed kinetic chain exercises into rehabilitation programs for patients with PFPS.
(C) 2005 National Strength and Conditioning Association