The Effects of Kinesio Taping on the Thigh of Healthy Individuals

Isabel Bentley

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Kinesio tape is a novel taping technique designed in 1973 which is becoming increasingly popular in the sports industry in the treatment of injuries and rehabilitation. It is claimed that kinesio tape can effectively reduce pain and swelling, relax or strengthen muscles, re-align subluxed joints and enhance proprioception. Despite the growing use of this tape, there is very little empirical evidence to support how that tape mediates these aforementioned effects and much of the existing literature is often conflicting. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of kinesio tape when applied to the anterior thigh on knee position perception, range of motion and tissue characteristics and determine whether these effects would be decreased, enhanced or unchanged over a duration of 24 hours.

Seventeen healthy physiotherapy student participated in this study: 12 females, 5 males (mean age = 25 ± 2.34). The study consisted of a repeated measure within subject design, where the subject‟s knee joint position sense and knee range of motion were measured under 3 conditions : Without Tape (WT): Immediately after taping (IT): and 24 hours after with tape in situ (AT). Tissue depths (mm) at 3 sites of the quadriceps were measured before and after the application of tape using an ultrasound machine. Kinesio tape was applied to the knee and thigh using a superior and inferior Y-technique.

Our results indicated that the use of kinesio tape did not significantly alter (p=>0.05) knee joint position sense and knee range of movement immediately after application or 24 hours post application in comparison to no tape. Similarly, there were no significant differences (p=>0.05) in tissue depths (mm) at any of the 3 muscle sites.

We concluded that kinesio tape has no effect when applied to the thigh of a population of healthy individuals. It is suggested that more research is conducted into the effects of kinesio tape to determine how the tape mediates its outcomes. This will enable a greater understanding of the physiological effects of the tape and support the growing use of the tape in all clinical areas.



Queen Margaret University