In today’s How to blog, we are looking at the basic, yet very effective McConnell knee taping technique for Patello-femoral pain syndrome (PFPS). This pain, as described in a recent blog, affects the front of our knees, typically in and around the patella (kneecap).

This type of knee taping was pioneered by leading Australian knee physiotherapist, Jenny McConnell – hence it’s aka McConnell Taping. The basic method involves applying rigid tape across the patella, pulling from lateral to medial. This helps reduce any excessive lateral pull on the patella when the knee bends, and reduces the irritation of the patello-femoral joint that usually occurs with PFPS and bent knee postures.

Kneecap alignment

Image credit: Workplace Physiotherapy

How to perform McConnell knee taping?

As mentioned in a previous taping blog, preparation of the skin is key for successful taping (see our blog on Ankle Taping for the do’s and don’ts with skin preparation).

Step 1 – Lay with your knee straight and relaxed

Step 2 – (Optional) To improve tape adherence or prevent skin irritation, consider using a strip of Fixomull across the patella as seen in Picture B below

Step 3 – Place a strip of brown rigid tape on the outer side of patella

Step 4 – Gently glide the patella across/inwards and fasten the tape directly across the patella, fastening to it to the inner side as seen in Picture D

Once finished, your taping should look like Picture E below. You should notice some wrinkles in the tape on the inner side of the knee tape.

McConnell taping example

Image credit: Lower Extremity Review

What are the advantages?

  • Pain relief
  • Better VMO (vastus medialis oblique) muscle activation
  • Improved patellar alignment
  • Increased knee function, especially with stairs and sitting

Note that there are several variations of the taping procedure, depending on the specific needs of the patient (eg patella tilts, and/or rotations). If you are unsure whether you require one of these variations, please speak to your physiotherapist before taping your knee.