Background and Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of patellar taping on the onset of activity of the vastus medialis obliquus muscle (VMO) and the vastus lateralis muscle (VL).
Subjects and Methods. Fourteen female subjects with patellar pain walked up and down stairs in two conditions: (1) with the patellofemoral joint of the painful lower extremity taped so that the pain was reduced by at least 50% on a pain provocation test and (2) without patellar taping.
Results. When the patellofemoral joint was not taped, there was no difference in the onset of activity between the VMO and the VL during the step-up and step-down tasks. During the step-up task, the onset of VMO activity occurred earlier with taping but there was no change in the onset of VL activity with taping. During the step-down task, the onset of VMO activity occurred earlier and the onset of VL activity was delayed with taping. When the patellofemoral joint was taped, the VMO was activated earlier than the VL during the step-up and step-down tasks.
Conclusion and Discussion. Taping of the patellofemoral joint in the manner used in this study changed the timing of VMO and VL activity in subjects with patellofemoral pain during step-up and step-down tasks. The earlier activation of the VMO may alter the movement of the patella, and further research is needed to determine whether this occurs and whether it is beneficial.
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Published article available online at http://ptjournal.apta.org/content/78/1/25.full.pdf+html Copyright American Physical Therapy Association