Evidence supports the use of Mulligan knee taping in managing patellofemoral pain (PFP). However, no studies have compared the efficacy of rigid and elastic tape using this technique.
Mulligan knee taping applied with both rigid and elastic tape will produce similar reductions in knee pain, hip internal rotation, and knee flexion moments compared with no tape. Elastic tape will also be more comfortable than rigid tape.
Controlled laboratory study.
A total of 19 female patients (mean age, 26.5 ± 4.5 years) with PFP performed a self-selected pain provocative task, single-leg squat (SLSq) task, and running task while wearing Mulligan knee taping applied with rigid tape, elastic tape at 100% tension, and no tape. Pain and taping comfort were recorded using 11-point numeric rating scales. An 18-camera motion capture system and in-ground force plates recorded 3-dimensional lower limb kinematics and kinetics for the SLSq and running tasks. Statistical analysis involved a series of repeated-measures analyses of variance. The Wilcoxon signed rank test was used for analyzing taping comfort.
Compared with no tape, both rigid and elastic tape significantly reduced pain during the pain provocative task (mean difference [MD], –0.97 [95% CI, –1.57 to –0.38] and –1.42 [95% CI, –2.20 to –0.64], respectively), SLSq (MD, –1.26 [95% CI, –2.23 to –0.30] and –1.13 [95% CI, –2.09 to –0.17], respectively), and running tasks (MD, –1.24 [95% CI, –2.11 to –0.37] and –1.16 [95% CI, –1.86 to –0.46], respectively). Elastic tape was significantly more comfortable than rigid tape generally ( P = .005) and during activity ( P = .022). Compared with no tape, both rigid and elastic tape produced increased knee internal rotation at initial contact during the running task (MD, 5.5° [95% CI, 3.6° to 7.4°] and 5.9° [95% CI, 3.9° to 7.9°], respectively) and at the commencement of knee flexion during the SLSq task (MD, 5.8° [95% CI, 4.5° to 7.0°] and 5.8° [95% CI, 4.1° to 7.4°], respectively), greater peak knee internal rotation during the running (MD, 1.8° [95% CI, 0.4° to 3.3°] and 2.2° [95% CI, 0.9° to 3.6°], respectively) and SLSq tasks (MD, 3.2° [95% CI, 2.1° to 4.3°] and 3.8° [95% CI, 2.3° to 5.2°], respectively), and decreased knee internal rotation range of motion during the running (MD, –3.6° [95% CI, –6.1° to –1.1°] and –3.7° [95% CI, –6.2° to –1.2°], respectively) and SLSq tasks (MD, –2.5° [95% CI, –3.9° to –1.2°] and –2.0° [95% CI, –3.2° to –0.9°], respectively).
Mulligan knee taping with both rigid and elastic tape reduced pain across all 3 tasks and altered tibiofemoral rotation during the SLSq and running tasks.
Both taping methods reduced pain and altered lower limb biomechanics. Elastic tape may be chosen clinically for comfort reasons.