An electromyographical study to investigate the effects of patellar taping on the vastus medialis/vastus lateralis ratio in asymptomatic participants

C. G. Ryan and P. J. Rowe

It is commonly theorised that patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is caused by maltracking due to vastus medialis (VM) weakness relative to the vastus lateralis (VL). Despite this being a controversial theory, patellar taping is a commonly used technique that purports to correct this muscle imbalance by increasing the VM/VL ratio. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of three different types of patellar taping on the VM/VL ratio in asymptomatic university students. Each participant performed a set of four single–legged squats under four separate taping conditions: A) medial, B) lateral, C) neutral, and D) no-tape. The main outcome measure was the normalised VM/VL ratio, assessed by using surface electromyography. The results showed no significant differences between the medial, neutral, and no-tape conditions. The authors therefore conclude that the results question whether patellar taping can impart a clinically significant effect on the VM/VL ratio.

Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, Volume 22, Number 6 / 2006, 309 – 315

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