Dr. Eckenrode ’97, ’99DPT Publishes Study Examining Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome in Female Runners

By Ryan Hiemenz | July 8, 2024

Brian Eckenrode ’97, ’99DPT associate professor of Physical Therapy and program director of Arcadia’s hybrid Doctor of Physical Therapy program, recently published two research articles in the Journal of Physical Therapy in Sport. This research project was conducted as part of his PhD dissertation requirements through Rutgers University. 

The two articles are companion papers, in which female runners with chronic patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFP) underwent an 8-week high frequency strengthening program. Patellofemoral pain, also known as anterior knee pain or runner’s knee, is a condition that presents as pain behind the kneecap from activities such as stair-climbing, running, squatting, and prolonged sitting.

Both papers examined changes in pain sensitivity, function, strength, and psychological/behavioral traits following a high frequency strengthening program for the hips and knees. Dr. Eckenrode found that high-frequency strengthening significantly reduced local and remote hyperalgesia, measured by mechanical and thermal pain sensitivity testing. Female runners with chronic PFP were also found to have, and greatly improved measures of self-reported pain and function. Additionally, the subjects noted less anxiety and fear of movement following the strengthening intervention.

Physical Therapy in Sport is the official journal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports and Exercise Medicine. Click here and here to read the full study.