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The Effect of Therapeutic Patellar Taping on Pain and Quadriceps Function in Patients with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

1 May 2007


1. Clinical Bottom Line: The value of the current body of research evidence is compromised by the lack of control groups, small sample sizes, lack of placebo groups, poor data presentation, and poor study design and follow up. Anecdotal evidence from 20 years of use in clinical practice strongly supports the benefit of pain reduction with therapeutic taping. The effect of therapeutic tape on quadriceps activation is still undetermined by research and is difficult to accurately measure in a clinical environment. Therapeutic tape is relatively inexpensive and easy to implement into a physical therapy program for PFPS. Based on the pain reducing effects reported in this literature review and in the wider research literature, until more research of an improved quality is available, we will continue to use therapeutic tape as a pain reducing modality in the treatment of PFPS.

2. Clinical Scenario: We have observed many patients in the outpatient setting who present with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). At one clinic the physical therapist utilized patellar tape in conjunction with exercises with such patients and had favorable results. In another clinic the PT did not use patellar taping with a single patient and obtained similar results. The patients all seemed to have equally good outcomes, so is it beneficial to use patellar taping in the treatment of PFPS?

3. Our Clinically Answerable Question: Population: We focused on patients who have been diagnosed with PFPS Intervention: We wished to determine the efficacy of patellar taping Comparison: Our comparison groups included healthy control subjects and subjects with PFPS treated without patellar tape. Outcome: The main outcome measure was decreased pain as measured on the Visual Analog Scale. We also evaluated change in quadriceps activity [EMG-measured force production and timing of vastus medialis obliquus (VMO) and vastus lateralis (VL)] because this might affect function and pain.


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