Hip abductor strength in medial exertional tibial pain.
Prospective studies have as yet not been published on determining hip strength-related risk factors for exertional medial tibial pain (EMTP) in a young physically active population.
EMTP is a common and complex overuse problem, usually induced by repetitive lower leg strain. Characteristics of EMTP are exertional pain along the posteromedial border of the tibia, and may diagnostically include medial stress syndrome, tibial stress fracture, chronic exertional compartment syndrome and muscular / tendon injuries.
The individuals in this study were 95 female students. Hip muscle strength of 52 students was evaluated at the beginning of the academic year and followed for two years. Another 43 students were followed for one academic year. The 21 students (22 %) who developed EMPT were compared to the group of 63 students (66%) who did not develop EMPT or other leg injuries.
The study identified that the role of hip abductors in controlling the movement of the lower limb may be important, whereas external rotation strength was not found to be a risk factor. An important function of the hip muscles seems to be controlling lower extremity movements, and may therefore this function may be more demanding. Screening for hip strength parameters may therefore be warranted as one of multiple factors to prevent developing EMPT.
> From: Verrelst et al., Br J Sports Med 48 (2014) 1564–1569. All rights reserved to BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. Click here for the Pubmed summary.