Effects of Kinesio taping on joint position sense of the ankle

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SCIENCE
Effects of Kinesio taping on joint position sense of the ankle
Key Take-Away: 

The results from the present study showed that ankle taping resulted in a significantly lower position-reposition error than that of no taping. It explains how Kinesio taping method helps the muscles to stretch and restores skin and muscles to original state and elicits an increase in proprioception through increased stimulation of cutaneous mechanoreceptor.

Ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries in sports. When the foot is inverted too much, it usually affects the lateral side of the foot. Relapse of the ankle sprain results in the instability of ankle which is linked to muscle weakness and defective proprioception.

ABSTRACT: 
Background: 

Ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries in sports. When the foot is inverted too much, it usually affects the lateral side of the foot. Relapse of the ankle sprain results in the instability of ankle which is linked to muscle weakness and defective proprioception.

Many methods are used for stabilizing ankle, but taping is currently the most common one which is used immediately after the injury and during the rehabilitation process. Taping prevent injuries from the start and also reduces the frequency rate of injury. In case of an injury, taping diminishes the severity of injuries. As compared to other ankle taping methods, Kinesio taping offers positive effects on improving muscle function, circulation of blood, reducing pain, repositioning subluxated joints, restoration of the function of the fascia and muscle, and improving proprioception.

  • Rationale behind research

  • Little is known about the possible proprioceptive effect of Kinesio tape, however it is predicted that it has a facilitator effect on cutaneous mechanoreceptors as seen after the application of adhesive athletic tape.

  • Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the effect of Kinesio taping on proprioception via the measurement of ankle position-reposition error.

  • Objective

  • To examine the effect of Kinesio taping on the joint position sense of the ankle.

Methods: 

  • Study outcomes

  • Joint Position Sense Measurement: The joint position sense of the subjects with sprained ankles was first examined after a five-minute rest before the ankles were wrapped with Kinesio Tape. Reproduction joint position sense was measured using isokinetic equipment during dorsiflexion/plantarflexion and inversion/eversion, before and after Kinesio taping. For the collateral ligament, the ankle was placed in an inverted position, while the taping was applied from the calcaneus to the talus. Over this tape, another tape was applied at 90 degrees and placed 20 centimeters above the lateral malleolus and medial malleolus. The ankle position sense was used to measure the difference between the start and return positions. The absolute error value was measured as the angle between the start position and the reposition. The same procedure was followed for plantarflexion and inversion/eversion.

  • Time points

  • Efficacy: Before taping and after taping

Results: 

  • Outcomes

  • There was a significant difference in the error values of the joint position sense (in ankle dorsiflexion and inversion between) those of before and after the taping. However, the plantarflexion showed no statistically significance difference.

Figure 1: Comparison of pre- and post-taping joint position error

Conclusion: 

According to the findings of this study, there was an improvement in the joint position sense during ankle dorsiflexion and inversion after taping. A possible reason for this result is that the most common types of ankle sprains are induced by sudden dorsiflexion and inversion.

Among a variety of ankle stabilizer methods, Kinesio taping method helps muscles to stretch as much as possible and restores the skin and muscles to their original state when the tape is applied over muscles without being overstretched. It is believed that if the taping is done in a way that creates enough space between the skin and the muscles, there is greater mobility of the muscles, and reduction of pain due to active circulation of blood and proprioception. Kinesio tape elicits an increase in proprioception through increased stimulation of cutaneous mechanoreceptors.

J. Phys. Ther. Sci. 2016; 28:1158-1160
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