Comparative Strength, Endurance, and Pain Responses Among Therapeutic Patellofemoral Taping Techniques

Javier A. Osorio, Giampietro Vairo, Gerard D. Rozea, Philip Bosha, Roberta Millard, Douglas F. Aukermann, Wayne Sebastianelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Patellofemoral taping techniques are performed as a therapeutic treatment for patellofemoral dysfunction (PFD). Prior findings suggest such interventions improve quadriceps performance and perceived pain in PFD patients. However, limited evidence exists detailing the effectiveness of contemporary kinesiotape, especially when compared to traditional McConnell.

Objective: Our primary aim was to investigate immediate effects of different patellofemoral taping techniques on quadriceps performance and perceived pain in PFD patients. It was hypothesized that taping would increase performance and decrease pain compared to no tape. A secondary aim was to compare differences between kinesiotape and McConnell.

Design: Retrospective cohort. The independent variable was taping technique.

Setting: Controlled laboratory.

Patients or Other Participants: Twenty (13 women, 7 men) physically active patients diagnosed with unilateral acute PFD (age = 21.2 ± 2.9 years, height = 1.7.± 0.2 m, mass = 68.1 ± 7.0 kg, Tegner = 6.2 ± 1.3, Kujala = 79.0 ± 9.4).

Interventions: Patients underwent one bilateral baseline and two unilateral taping testing sessions. Taping consisted of the McConnell medial glide and NUCAP Medical Upper Knee Spider®. Forty-eight hours separated sessions. Randomization was used to prevent order effects.

Main Outcome Measures: Normalized isokinetic strength and endurance were assessed at 60 °/s and 240 °/s respectively using reliable methods. Pain was measured following isokinetics using a standardized visual analogue scale. One-tail paired t-tests assessed bilateral baseline differences. One-way analyses of variance with Tukey’s post hoc test evaluated differences among baseline and taping sessions for the involved leg. P ≤ 0.05 denoted significance.

Results: Data met necessary assumptions for statistical analyses. Patients demonstrated significant bilateral baseline differences for strength (involved = 1.9 ± 0.6 Nm/kg; uninvolved = 2.1 ± 0.5 Nm/kg; P = 0.001) and endurance (involved = 35.1 ± 14.3 J/kg; uninvolved = 39.6 ± 13.4 J/kg; P = 0.022). Patients also displayed significant increases in strength (McConnell = 2.2 ± 0.6 Nm/kg, P = 0.002; Spider® = 2.1 ± 0.5 Nm/kg, P = 0.003) and endurance (McConnell = 42.7 ± 14.7 J/kg, P = 0.003; Spider® = 43.5 ± 11.2 J/kg, P = 0.001) when taped compared to baseline. Pain significantly decreased during strength (baseline = 3 ± 2.3 cm; McConnell = 1.9 ± 1.8 cm, P = 0.003; Spider® = 1.7 ± 2.2 cm, P = 0.003) and endurance (baseline = 2.7 ± 2.1 cm; McConnell = 1.6 ± 1.9 cm, P = 0.001; Spider® = 1.2 ± 0.9 cm, P = 0.001) measurements when taped. No significant differences existed between taping techniques.

Conclusions: Patellofemoral taping techniques improve quadriceps performance and perceived pain in unilateral acute PFD patients. No apparent differences exist between the Spider® and McConnell medial glide. Continued research is necessary to definitively determine clinical effectiveness of PFD taping interventions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S67-S68
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Issue number3, Supplement
StatePublished - Jun 2012


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