The effects of patellar taping on stride characteristics and joint motion in subjects with patellofemoral pain

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1997 Dec;26(6):286-91. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1997.26.6.286.


Although patellar taping has been reported to be effective in reducing pain, the effects of this procedure on functional outcomes, such as ambulation, have not been documented. The purpose of this study was to compare stride characteristics and joint motion in subjects with patellofemoral pain, with and without the application of patellar taping using the McConnell technique. Fifteen female subjects between the ages of 14 and 41 years with diagnosis of patellofemoral pain participated in this study. Stride characteristics (Stride Analyzer) and sagittal plane joint motion (VICON) were recorded simultaneously during taped and untaped trials of free walking, fast walking, and ascending and descending a ramp and stairs. A repeated measures analysis of variance was used to determine differences between taped and untaped trials. Although subjects reported an average pain reduction of 78% using a visual analogue scale, the only significant change in stride characteristics was an increase in stride length during ramp ascent. Patellar taping did, however, result in a small but significant increase in loading response knee flexion across all conditions tested. We believe this finding demonstrates more willingness by the patellofemoral pain subjects to load the knee joint, thus permitting increased shock absorption, increased quadriceps activity, and tolerance of increased patellofemoral joint reaction force.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bandages*
  • Female
  • Femur / physiopathology
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patella* / physiopathology
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking / physiology