Immediate effect and predictors of effectiveness of taping for patellofemoral pain syndrome: a prospective cohort study

Am J Sports Med. 2010 Aug;38(8):1626-30. doi: 10.1177/0363546510364840. Epub 2010 May 26.


Background: Taping has been used to treat patellofemoral pain syndrome for more than 20 years, but its effectiveness is still controversial.

Purpose: This study was undertaken to investigate the effect and predictors of effectiveness of taping in the treatment of patellofemoral pain syndrome.

Study design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: A total of 118 consecutive patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome were recruited; 100 of them completed this study. Patient sex, age, body mass index, Q angle, lateral patellar displacement, and lateral patellofemoral angle were recorded/measured. One therapist applied adhesive tape to each patient by the McConnell method. Patients scored their pain level on a 100-mm visual analog scale during stepping down from an 8-in platform, before and after taping. The change of score was evaluated by paired t test. Patients with a visual analog scale score decrease of 20 mm or more after taping were considered responsive, and the others were considered nonresponsive. The influences of the aforementioned factors, plus pretaping visual analog scale score, on the effectiveness of taping were analyzed by multivariate logistic regression.

Results: The overall mean visual analog scale score decreased significantly after taping (from 49.0 to 29.3 mm; P < .001). There were 66 patients in the responsive group and 34 in nonresponsive group. Among the factors, body mass index, lateral patellofemoral angle, and Q angle were significant predictors of effectiveness. The responsive group had significantly smaller mean lateral patellofemoral angle, larger mean Q angle, and larger mean pretaping visual analog scale score than the nonresponsive group.

Conclusion: Taping was an effective treatment for patellofemoral pain syndrome, but was less effective in patients with higher body mass index, larger lateral patellofemoral angle, and smaller Q angle.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bandages / standards*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies