OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effects of two knee taping techniques, therapeutic tape and neutral tape, on pain and observed disability in symptomatic generalized knee osteoarthritis (OA). METHODS: Using a within-subjects study design, 18 participants were tested under three conditions in random order: untaped, wearing therapeutic knee tape and wearing neutral knee tape. Outcome measures included assessment of pain during each of four activities (using a visual analogue scale) and assessment of observed disability (walking speed, timed up and go test, and the step test). RESULTS: Therapeutic tape significantly reduced pain on three of the four activities assessed, when compared with the neutral and untaped conditions (P<0.017). The only statistically significant change in observed disability was detected in the step test (P<0.001), in favour of the therapeutic tape. CONCLUSIONS: Therapeutic knee tape is a simple, inexpensive strategy that increases the treatment options for therapists and patients in the conservative management of knee OA. Whilst effective in immediately reducing pain, it does not appear to have a significant immediate impact on observed disability associated with the disease. Therapeutic tape may be used as an adjunct to drug and exercise therapies, potentially augmenting the individual benefits of each.