PT Tip of the Month

McConnell Taping

Background

McConnell Taping was developed by Australian physical therapist Jenny McConnell in 1984. The technique was originally developed to correct Patellofemoral motion, and allow participation in normal daily activities. It is believed that improper positioning or movement of the patella can increase improper forces in the knee joint, which will lead to pain and inflammation. In McConnell's original research, she reported 96% success with treating knee pain.

Over the years, several studies have looked at the benefits of taping. Although there is debate on the actual effect that produces the pain relief, which could include altered patellar position, increased muscle activation, or altered joint proprioception, several studies have found taping beneficial in reducing knee pain symptoms. In a study by Whittingham et al (2004), it was found that a group receiving tape and exercise combined, had a greater improvement in their knee pain symptoms than an exercise only group.

Another study by Wilson et al (2003) found that patellar taping produced an immediate decrease in pain for patients with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.

Knee pain

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) is one of the most common causes of orthopedic -related physician visits each year (Patella Femoral Syndrome Tip of the Month). Several factors can contribute to altered lower-extremity biomechanics, such as poor patellar tracking, weakness, and poor flexibility. Common symptoms include diffused pain around the patella, especially with squatting, running or using stairs.

 

 

 

 

Treatment

If you are experiencing knee pain and believe you may benefit from a technique such as McConnell taping, please note that it should be applied by a skilled physical therapist. The first step is usually applying a product, such as Tuff Skin, to help increase the adhesiveness of the skin. Then a hypoallergenic base tape will be applied to help protect the skin. After this, a rigid tape will be applied, which helps to slide, rotate, or tip the patella. Once the tape has been applied it may be worn for up to 3 days.

McConnell Taping could be one important aspect of your treatment for knee pain. In addition to stretching and strengthening exercises, joint or soft tissue mobilization and administration of modalities over the affected region, we can assist you in modifying activities that bring on your pain and also can recommend proper footwear to help you resume pain-free activity. If you feel that you are experiencing signs or symptoms of Patellofemoral pain syndrome, and would like to schedule an evaluation, call 617-232-PAIN for our Brookline office, or 617-325-PAIN for our West Roxbury office.

References

  1. Wilson T., Carter N. and Thomas G. “A Multicenter, Single-Masked Study of Medial, Neutral and Lateral Patellar Taping in Individuals with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.” Journal of Orthopedic Sports Physical Therapy 33.8 (2003):437-448.

  2. Whittingham M., Palmer S. and Macmillan F. “Effects of Taping on Pain and Function in Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of Orthopedic Sports Physical Therapy 34.9 (2004):504-510.

  3. Derasari A., Brindle T., Alter K. and Sheehan F. “McConnell Taping Shifts the Patella Inferiorly in Patients with Patellofemoral Pain: A Dynamic Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.” Physical Therapy 90.3 (2010):411-419.

  4. Lesher J., Sutlive T., Miller G., Chine N., Garber M. and Wainner R. “Development of a Clinical Prediction Rule with Classifying Patients with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome who respond to Taping.&rdquo Journal of Orthopedic Sports Physical Therapy 36.11 (2006): 854-866.

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