Physical Therapy in Sport
School of Medical and Health Sciences
National Health and Medical Research Council
NHMRC Numbers : 1088683, APP1191009
Objectives: To investigate associations between lateral hip muscle size/intramuscular fat infiltration (MFI) and hip strength in active young adults with longstanding hip/groin pain. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: University/Clinical. Participants: Sub-elite soccer and Australian Football players (n = 180; 37 female) with long standing hip/groin pain. Main outcome measures: Muscle size (volume) and MFI of gluteus maximus, medius, and minimis, and tensor fascia latae (TFL) were assessed using magnetic resonance imaging. Isometric hip strength was measured with handheld dynamometry. Associations between muscle size/MFI were assessed using linear regression models, adjusted for body mass index and age, with sex-specific interactions. Results: Positive associations were identified between lateral hip muscle volume and hip muscle strength, particularly for gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus volume. For all muscles, hip abduction was associated with an increase in strength by up to 0.69 N (R2 ranging from 0.29 to 0.39). These relationships were consistent across sexes with no sex interactions observed. No associations were found between MFI and strength measures. Conclusion: Greater lateral hip muscle volumes are associated with greater hip strength in active young adults with long standing hip/groin pain, irrespective of sex. Gluteus maximus and minimus volume showed the most consistent relationships with hip strength across multiple directions.
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