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Taping and exercise for knee pain

...is taping and exercise preferred over just exercise for patellofemoral pain syndrome?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is a common injury in runners. It is often a multifactorial issue: muscle imbalances, weakness of the quadriceps and medial and lateral retinaculum of the knee have all been reported to contribute to its onset. In order for the patella to move freely and pain-free, proper stability and control of the knee is necessary.

Physiotherapists often address PFPS with an exercise programme targeting both the stabilising musculature of the knee and the hip. Some physiotherapy programmes also include supportive treatment approaches such as the McConnell taping technique to medially guide the patella during activities such as running.

This study aimed to determine whether taping in addition to exercise proved to have benefits over just exercise.

This study supports the use of McConnell taping in patients with PFPS. There was a significant improvement in self-reported symptoms when taping was combined with exercise as opposed to exercises alone.

While there are several limitations of this study, such as a low sample size, and only limited details being provided regarding the VMO exercises, it does highlight the need for a multi-modal approach when treating patients with knee pain.

Taping has been disputed extensively over the years in terms of clinical effectiveness, but perhaps it could at the very least have contributed to a placebo effect that supported improvement in self-reported symptoms.

In any case, this article highlights the need for considering multiple (adjunctive) treatment strategies when addressing PFPS.

> From: Begum et al., J Pak Med Assoc 70 (2020) 728-730 . All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the online summary.

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