Lower-leg Kinesio tape reduces rate of loading in participants with medial tibial stress syndrome

Phys Ther Sport. 2016 Mar:18:62-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2014.01.001. Epub 2014 Jan 29.


Context: Medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) is an overuse injury occurring among the physically active. Linked to increased strain on the medial tendons of the ankle, studies emphasize controlling medial foot loading in the management of this condition. Kinesio taping (KT) has gained popularity for treating musculoskeletal pathologies; however, its effect on MTSS remains uninvestigated. This study aimed to determine if healthy participants and patients with current or previous history of MTSS differ in the rate of loading, and if KT affects plantar pressures in these participants.

Methods: Twenty healthy participants and 20 participants with current or previous history of MTSS were recruited and walked across a plantar pressure mat prior to KT application, immediately after application, and after 24-h of continued use. Time-to-peak force was measured in 6 foot areas and compared across groups and conditions.

Results: ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between group, condition, and foot area (F = 1.990, p = 0.033). MTSS participants presented with lower medial midfoot time-to-peak force before tape application (95%CI: 0.014-0.160%, p = 0.021) that significantly increased following tape application (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: These results suggest that KT decreases the rate of medial loading in MTSS patients. Future research might assess mechanisms by which this effect is achieved.

Keywords: Foot biomechanics; Injury prevention; Plantar pressure.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Injuries / complications
  • Ankle Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Ankle Joint / physiopathology*
  • Athletic Tape*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome / etiology
  • Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome / rehabilitation*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Walking / physiology*