Taping is often used in the rehabilitation field as a means of treating knee injuries, but much evidence is conflicting. Taping is one of the complementary treatments that we as physiotherapists may use in conjunction with our patients, in combination with well supported techniques such as Patient education and exercise therapy. We could argue that if taping has a positive effect, whether it’s a placebo or mechanical taping, then we should use it.
There are good reasons for using taping to treat knee sports injuries, but there is conflicting evidence that using taping improves lower extremity biomechanics to reduce pain and improve function in conditions such as PFPS .
This article describes the various knee taping techniques and their possible indications.
Knee Taping Techniques
Patella (McConnell) Taping
The McConnell Taping Technique was developed to correct altered patellofemoral kinematics, allow the patient to participate in normal daily activities, and allow the patient to perform physical therapy movements without pain. There are many variations of the recording program according to the specific needs Patient (e.g. glide tilt and/or swivel). This form of patellar taping has been reported to reduce anterior knee pain, modulate the medial pull on the patella, improve joint alignment, and stimulate the vastus medialis oblique muscle. Although it has been reported to reduce pain and There is still no strong evidence to identify the underlying mechanism for improving function during activities of daily living in patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome  Kinesio taping applied to the muscle relieves pain but does not alter patellar alignment, which is consistent with McConnell’s taping Tie is different. Two patellar tapings have been used differently in patients with PFPS to significantly improve muscle mobility, motor function and quality of life .
Read more about Patella Taping
Many athletes report that they experience less pain when wearing a belt (anecdotal evidence). However, there is currently little scientific evidence on the effectiveness of patellar straps and athletic tape in patellar tendinopathy. De Vries  nicely summarizes these potential assumptions impact, but concluded that more research is needed to confirm these hypotheses:
- Increasing the patellar-patella tendon angle and reducing the effective length of the patellar tendon may reduce strain on the tendon.
- Improves proprioception, thereby helping to protect the joint from re-injury that might otherwise alter sensory input. Increased sensitivity in patients with patellar tendinopathy This low pain threshold may be affected by the strap and therefore may result in reduced pain volume Perceived pain.
- By reducing the load on the tendon, the bandage improves the balance between load and load capacity in the long run. Gradually increasing loading that allows for a small amount of pain is thought to be important for tendon recovery.
It is common practice to brace the medial collateral ligament with a bandage after an injury, especially when returning to sport. There is no research evidence to support this technique, although anecdotal evidence supports it.
The same technique can be used on the outside of the knee to support the outside of the knee, such as in an LCL injury.
Kinematic Taping and Lymphatic Drainage
Kinesiology taping is still a relatively new adjunct to physical therapy and as such research is scarce, so clinical experience and case reports are initial sources of evidence for its application. The theory behind using kinesio taping is that when applied it helps to provide The “lift” to the skin allows the fluid under the tape to move more freely, which has been shown to work best with smaller/thinner strips of tape.  
Here is an example of the effect of kinesiology tape on lymphatic drainage and hematoma.
- Patellar Taping
- Mulligan Taping
- Kinesio Taping
- Yu H, Randhawa K, Côté P, Optima Collaboration. The Effectiveness of Physical Agents for Lower-Limb Soft Tissue Injuries: A Systematic Review. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy. 2016 Jun 6(0):1-01.
- Marc Campolo, Jenie Babu, Katarzyna Dmochowska, Shiju Scariah, Jincy Varughese. A COMPARISON OF TWO TAPING TECHNIQUES (KINESIO AND MCCONNELL) AND THEIR EFFECT ON ANTERIOR KNEE PAIN DURING FUNCTIONAL ACTIVITIES. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2013 Apr; 8(2): 105–110.
- Chang WD, Chen FC, Lee CL, Lin HY, Lai PT. Effects of Kinesio taping versus McConnell taping for patellofemoral pain syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2015 Jun 21;2015.
- de Vries AJ, van den Akker-Scheek I, Diercks RL, Zwerver J, van der Worp H. Effect of patellar strap and sports tape on jumper’s knee symptoms: protocol of a randomised controlled trial. J Physiother. 2013 Dec 1;59(4):270.
- Jacobsen FT. Kinesio Taping & its effects beneath the skin. Therapy Expo. 2016
- Białoszewski D, Woźniak W, Zarek S. Clinical efficacy of kinesiology taping in reducing edema of the lower limbs in patients treated with the ilizarov method–preliminary report. Ortopedia, traumatologia, rehabilitacja. 2008 Dec;11(1):46-54.