Wong et al summary
This article published by Wong, Cheung & Li in 2012 investigated whether kinesiology tape applied to the VMO of the quadriceps would improve peak torque of the muscle when tested isokinetically. It was a crossover trial, with 30 healthy subjects tested. The subjects’ dominant leg was tested, with a coin toss determining whether they were tested taped or untaped initially, then the other condition was tested at least seven days later. The taped condition involved tape being applied over the VMO with a Y-shape tape, the tails of which were applied on either side of the patella. The subjects were tested at 3 angular velocities between 0-100°.
The study found no significant difference in quadriceps peak torque between the two conditions at any speed, reinforcing our belief that kinesiology tape will not make the muscle group stronger. However interestingly, the time taken for the subjects to reach peak torque was significantly shorter in the taped condition at all three speeds tested. This may have clinical implications for conditions such as patella-femoral pain where it is believed that the altered/delayed timing of VMO contraction may be a significant factor in the development of this condition, and the restoration of the correct temporal sequence is often a treatment goal.
This study concurs with the findings of Chen et al (2007). This study found that taped subjects had an earlier onset of VMO in a stepping task.
Wong, O.M.H., Cheung, R.T.H., & Li, R.C.T., (2012). Isokinetic knee function in healthy subjects with and without Kinesio Taping. Physical Therapy in Sport 13 255-258