As a chiropractor I treat many people who suffer from arthritis, and I also help individuals who have sustained sports injuries. With the former, I use chiropractic adjustments and with the latter, in conjunction with the adjustments, I often use kinesio taping. Now, it appears that athletic tape can also be beneficial in treating patients with arthritis. Read on…
Researchers in Australia have found that athletic tape can be used to improve pain from patellofemoral osteoarthritis, a form of osteoarthritis found around or behind the kneecap.
This was a small study, to be sure, involving only 28 people, 14 with and 14 without patellofemoral arthritis. Yet the findings may provide another therapy option for people with this knee pain. This finding may also benefit people with chronic patellofemoral pain, which is relatively common in runners and can oftentimes be related to a misalignment in the knee joint.
The researchers from the University of Melbourne enlisted the 28 participants, all adults with an average age of 57. The researchers took MRI scans of the participants knees and discovered that the arthritis sufferers had a higher incidence of misalignment of the knee joint, including an inclination for the kneecap to be positioned toward the outside of the leg.
Using athletic tape to wrap the patient’s knees, the researchers were able to improve that misalignment. This contributed to improvement in reported pain during a squatting exercise.
According to lead researcher, Dr. Kay M. Crossley;
“Our results confirm that patellar taping is an excellent technique which can be recommended for people with (patellofemoral arthritis).”
The tape must be applied correctly to achieve the benefit, and not to worsen the condition. The researchers indicated that a physical therapist would be the most appropriate to wrap the knee, but that with instruction and practice, the patient would be able to successfully tape their own knee.
Using tape may not be the best solution for everyone with patellofemoral pain. Many people may require other forms of therapy or a combination with taping. Dr. Crossley stated that she and her colleagues are currently conducting a clinical trial which is studying the outcomes of knee taping with other treatments.
The results of the taping study were published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.