Efficacy of Kinesio Taping and McConnell Taping Techniques in the Management of Anterior Knee Pain

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Anterior knee pain also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome is a frequently encountered musculoskeletal disorder that worsens with activity. The multifactorial etiology of patellofemoral pain syndrome alters lower-extremity mechanics, increasing patellofemoral joint stresses during weight-bearing tasks. Kinesio and McConnell tapings are often incorporated into the treatment, but their efficacy is still unclear. Objective: To test the efficacy of Kinesio taping, McConnell taping, and sham taping in improving knee mechanics and reducing pain during activity. Design: Cross-sectional design. Setting: Clinical biomechanics laboratory. Participants: Ten participants (age: 20.3 [1.5] y, height: 169.9 [10.4] cm, and mass: 70.17 [13.1] kg) with anterior knee pain and no history of trauma. Intervention: Three trials each of squat, drop jump, and step-down tasks with 3 taping conditions in a counterbalanced order. Main Outcome Measures: Two-dimensional motion capture data of lower-extremities in frontal and sagittal planes were recorded and analyzed using 3 iPads and Spark Motion® application. Pooled effect sizes (Hedges’ g), 95% confidence intervals, and repeated-measures analysis of variance (P < .05) compared baseline and taping conditions during exercises for pain Visual Analog Scale and knee flexion in all exercises, hip abduction during step-down and drop jump, frontal plane projection during step-downs, and knee translation in sagittal plane during squats. Results: Significant reductions in Visual Analog Scale were recorded during squats between tapes (F2.505,12.867 = 3.407, P = .04, Hedges’ g = −0.70). Pairwise comparison showed a decrease in Visual Analog Scale for sham taping (mean difference = 1.14 cm, P = .01) and Kinesio taping (mean difference = 1.54 cm, P = .02) compared with baseline during squats. Conclusions: A variety of taping methods can potentially reduce perceived pain in individuals with patellofemoral pain syndrome, allowing clinicians to perform rehabilitation exercises. Sensory effects associated with short-term taping may be sufficient enough to modify knee pain acutely by afferent input blocking nocioceptive pain before the participants could adapt. Most interestingly, the sham taping technique demonstrated promise for enhancing functional outcomes, depending on the length of the tape and area covered.

Kakar and Greenberger are with the Department of Physical Therapy, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, USA. McKeon is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, USA.

Kakar (rkakar@ithaca.edu) is corresponding author.
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