Tape is applied before painful activities, such as exercise; however, each application can be left in place for days to weeks, depending on adhesion durability.
Before applying tape it may be necessary to shave the skin, which should be done 12 hours before application.
Ensure the skin is thoroughly cleaned and dried before applying tape.
Before applying the tape, ask the patient to perform a symptom-provoking activity such as a step-down so the level of pain can be re-assessed following tape application. Better results will be obtained if immediate reductions in pain can be obtained with tape.
Apply the tape with the patient either lying or sitting on the edge of a chair, with the leg extended and thigh muscles relaxed.
Several different taping methods can be used. The choice will depend on which combination is most effective in reducing the patient’s pain. Prior to placing each piece of rigid tape, place several strips of hypoallergenic tape across the knee region to cover the patella and the medial and lateral knee regions.
A 2-3 step method
This taping method consists of steps 1 and 2, with or without step 3.
1. Medial tilt and medial glide
Start the tape in the middle of the patella at the level of its superior aspect, lift the skin on the medial side of the knee towards the patella and pull the tape medially.
Fix the tape to the medial aspect of the knee just short of the hamstring tendons, ensuring there is some slight wrinkling of the skin (Figure 1).
This tilts the lateral patellar border away from the femur.
2. Anteroposterior tilt and medial glide
Start the rigid tape on the lateral aspect of the knee at the level of the superior aspect of the patella.
Gently lift the skin on the medial side of the knee towards the patella as you pull the tape medially.
Fix the tape to the medial aspect of the knee just short of the hamstring tendons, ensuring there is some slight wrinkling of the skin (Figure 2).
Refer to training video 1 for a demonstration of steps 1 and 2.
3. Unloading the infrapatellar fat pad and reducing stretch of inflamed soft tissue
Commence the tape at the tibial tubercle and lift the soft tissue towards the patella, while firmly pulling the tape to the medial joint line. Repeat with a second piece of tape, but firmly pull the tape toward the lateral joint line (Figure 3).
Refer to training video 2 for a demonstration of step 3.