Does Added Load Increase the PFJ Loading Variables Associated with PFJ Pain in Running?

Research Paper Title

Patellofemoral Joint Stress during Running with Added Load in Females.


Patellofemoral joint (PFJ) pain syndrome is a commonly reported form of pain in female runners and military personnel.

Increased PFJ stress may be a contributing factor.

Few studies have examined PFJ stress running with added load.

The purpose was to analyse PFJ stress, PFJ reaction force, quadriceps force, knee flexion angle, and other kinematic and temporospatial variables running with and without a 9 kg load.


Nineteen females ran across a force platform with no added load and 9.0 kg weight vest.

Kinematic data were collected using 3D motion capture and kinetic data with a force platform.

Muscle forces were estimated using a musculoskeletal model, and peak PFJ loading variables were calculated during stance.

Multivariate analyses were run on PFJ loading variables and on cadence, step length and foot strike index.


Differences were shown in PFJ stress, PFJ reaction force, peak knee flexion angle and quadriceps force.

Joint specific kinetic variables increased between 5-16% with added load.

PFJ loading variables increased with 9 kg of added load without changes in cadence, step length, or foot strike index compared to no load.


Added load appears to increase the PFJ loading variables associated with PFJ pain in running.


Kujawa, M., Goerlitz, A., Rutherford, D. & Kernozek, T.W. (2020) Patellofemoral Joint Stress during Running with Added Load in Females. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 41(6), pp.412-418. doi: 10.1055/a-1088-5467. Epub 2020 Feb 11.


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