Effect of Kinesio Taping on bioelectrical activity of vastus medialis muscle. Preliminary report

Ortop Traumatol Rehabil. Nov-Dec 2007;9(6):644-51.
[Article in English, Polish]


Background: Kinesio Taping is currently regarded by physiotherapists as a method supporting rehabilitation and modulating some physiological processes. It is employed e.g. in orthopaedics and sport medicine. This sensory method supports joint function by exerting an effect on muscle function, enhancing activity of the lymphatic system and endogenous analgesic mechanisms as well as improving microcirculation. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of Kinesio Taping on changes in the tone of the vastus medialis muscle during isometric contractions.

Material and method: The study group included 27 healthy persons. A Kinesio Tape was placed to support the function of the medial head of the quadriceps muscle of thigh. Transdermal EMG was used to assess bioelectrical activity of the muscle. A standardised protocol was employed for measurement of muscle tone, recorded as the peak torque of the muscle.

Results: An examination performed 24 hours after the placement of the Kinesio Tape revealed significantly increased recruitment of the muscle's motor units, as expressed by peak torque. An examination performed after 72 hours of kinesio taping showed a statistically significant increase in bioelectrical activity of the muscle. However, this was lower than the effect at 24 hours. In the group where the tapes were removed after 24 hours, high torque was still maintained.

Conclusions: 1. Clinically significant effects of Kinesio Taping in this study included an increase in the bioelectrical activity of the muscle after 24 hours of kinesio taping and the maintenance of this effect for another 48 hours following removal of the tape. 2. The decrease in muscle tone to the baseline value, which was observed during the fourth day of Kinesio Taping use, may have resulted from the time of effective use of the KT tape being shorter than previously believed and may restrict Kinesio Taping use. 3. Kinesio Taping used shortly before the motor activity it is supposed to support may fail to fulfil its function.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Electromyography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology*
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Quadriceps Muscle / physiology*
  • Time Factors