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Acti-Tape™ (elastic therapeutic tape) as compared with a knee guard in providing support to the knee joint: an open-label, randomized, crossover study

Authors Hui HK, Karne N, Sonawane N

Received 27 November 2013

Accepted for publication 22 January 2014

Published 28 April 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 29—36


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Hoong Keong Hui,1 Narayan J Karne,2 Navneet Sonawane3

1Nutriworks Ltd, Kowloon, Hong Kong; 2Karne Hospital, Pune, India; 3Vedic Lifesciences Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, India

Study design: Randomized, open-label, crossover, controlled study.
Background: Elastic taping methods are used to provide support to the musculoskeletal system in athletes. Acti-Tape™ (an elastic therapeutic tape) has been marketed for the last 2–3 years and has shown good results in providing support to the joints. This pilot study was planned to collect data on the clinical outcomes and to assess if a single tape application of Acti-Tape over the knee joint could provide benefits similar to a traditionally used knee guard.
Methods: Thirteen subjects aged 30–65 years visiting an orthopedic center in Pune, India who were suffering from osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to either Acti-Tape (n=6) or a knee guard (n=7) in the first intervention period (6 days) and were crossed over to the other group in the second intervention period (6 days) after a washout of 1 day. Main outcome measures were change from day 0 to day 6 in pain visual analog score (VAS); timed up and go (TUG), medial step down (MSD), and unilateral anterior reach (UAR) tests; and subject's preference.
Results: Data for all the 13 subjects were pooled and analyzed by Student's t-test as treatment-by-period interaction was not significant by analysis of variance (P>0.05). The changes (mean ± standard deviation) after using Acti-Tape and a knee guard, respectively, were pain VAS, –10±5.4 versus (vs) –11.5±5.83; TUG, –0.62±1.33 vs –0.46±1.56; UAR, 0.15±1.07 vs 0.75±0.44; and MSD, 1.08±095 vs 0.85±1.14. These were statistically significant with both devices for pain VAS, UAR, and MSD, but not for TUG. Between the treatments however, no statistically significant difference was seen. Eleven of 13 (85%) subjects preferred Acti-Tape for future use (P<0.05 by McNemar’s χ2 test). No safety concerns were reported by the subjects.
Conclusion: Single tape application of Acti-Tape over the knee joint improves clinical outcomes similar to that of the knee guard. The patients preferred Acti-Tape to knee guard for future use.

Keywords: elastic taping methods, pain VAS, knee support, enhanced mobility

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