- Background: Patellar tendinopathy is a common condition resulting in persistent pain, frequently reported during physical activity. The relationship between dynamic postural stability and pain in these individuals is unclear and how it may affect postural stability.
Research Question: Is there a relationship between acute pain and dynamic postural stability indices in individuals with patellar tendinopathy?
Methods: Twenty-two recreationally active individuals with patellar tendinopathy participated. Participants performed a two-legged jump and landed on a single test-limb on a force platform. They completed 100 mm visual analogue scales (VAS) before and after landing trials. Anterior-posterior (APSI), medial-lateral (MLSI), vertical (VSI), and composite (DPSI) stability indices were calculated from ground reaction force data. The relationship between stability indices and VAS for pain as well as pain change scores were assessed via non-parametric Spearman's rho (rho) rank correlations (p <= .05).
Results: Baseline pain was not significantly correlated with any stability indices. Post-landing pain was significantly correlated with MLSI (rho = 0.540, p = 0.004) while, VSI (rho = 0.353, p = 0.053) and DPSI (rho = 0.347, p = 0.057) had moderate, yet insignificant correlations. Pain change scores demonstrated a large correlation with MLSI (rho = 0.598, p = 0.002).
Significance: As pain increased in individuals with patellar tendinopathy, dynamic postural stability indices values increased, indicating more difficulty transitioning from a dynamic to static state. Although balance deficits are not typically associated with patellar tendinopathy, it appears pain and dynamic postural stability may be related in these individuals.