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Effects of corrective taping of the patella on patients with patellofemoral pain

Herrington, Lee and Payton, Carl J. (1997) Effects of corrective taping of the patella on patients with patellofemoral pain. Physiotherapy, 83 (11). pp. 566-572. ISSN 1873-1465

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Abstract

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is a common problem presenting to physiotherapists. One successful approach to treatment involves taping of the patella, which theoretically facilitates the vastus mediallis oblique (VMO) muscle, the main transverse stabiliser of the patella, as well as relieving pain. The purpose of this study was to establish the effect of taping of the patella on VMO and vastus lateralis (VL) EMG activity patterns and patients' perceived pain levels, during maximal isometric quadriceps contractions. Twenty subjects (10 men, 10 women) aged 16–43 years were examined. Subjects reported pain to occur most frequently and of the highest intensity at 0 and 30 of knee flexion before taping. There were significant reductions in pain after the application of tape (p < 0.06) at all joint angles tested. After the application of tape, there was a non-significant increase in VMO EMG activity (P = 0.12) and large variations in the VMO:VL EMG activity ratio. Within the limitations of this study it seems that taping of the patella in patients with PFPS brings about a significant reduction in pain. The results of the study, however, do not support the hypothesis previously forwarded that taping facilitates VMO activity.

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