Purpose: To examine the effects of increased cadence and minimalist footwear on lower-limb variability in runners with patellofemoral pain (PFP). Methods: Fifteen (12 female, 3 male) runners with PFP ran on an instrumented treadmill with three-dimensional motion capture in three randomly ordered conditions: (i) standard shoe at preferred cadence, (ii) standard shoe +10% cadence, and (iii) minimalist shoe at preferred cadence. Vector coding was used to calculate coordination variability between strides for select lower-limb joint couplings. Approximate entropy was calculated to assess continuous variability for segment kinematic and kinetic data and compared between conditions using repeated-measures ANOVA. One-dimensional statistical parametric mapping repeated-measures ANOVA was performed on the coordination variability data. Cohen's d effect size was calculated for all comparisons. Results: Larger approximate entropy values (i.e., greater variability) were observed for the standard shoe +10% cadence versus the standard shoe at preferred cadence for hip flexion/extension (P < 0.001; d = 1.12), hip adduction/abduction (P < 0.001; d = 0.99) and ankle dorsiflexion/plantarflexion (P < 0.001; d = 1.37) kinematics, and knee flexion/extension moments (P < 0.001; d = 0.93). Greater variability was also observed in the minimalist shoe versus the standard shoe at preferred cadence for hip internal/external rotation moments (P < 0.001; d = 0.76), knee adduction/abduction moments (P < 0.001; d = 0.51), and knee internal/external rotation moments (P < 0.001; d = 1.02). One-dimensional statistical parametric mapping repeated-measures ANOVA revealed no significant differences in coordination variability between running conditions. Conclusions: Greater hip and knee kinematic and kinetic variability observed with either increased cadence or minimalist footwear may be beneficial for those with PFP.
- patellofemoral pain