The immediate effects of Kinesio Taping on running biomechanics, muscle activity, and perceived changes in comfort, stability and running performance in healthy runners, and the implications to the management of Iliotibial band syndrome

Gait Posture. 2022 Jan:91:179-185. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2021.10.025. Epub 2021 Oct 26.

Abstract

Background: Kinesio Taping is frequently used in the management of lower limb injuries, and has been shown to improve pain, function, and running performance. However, little is known about the effects of Kinesio Taping on running biomechanics, muscle activity, and perceived benefits.

Research question: This study aimed to explore the immediate effects of Kinesio Taping on lower limb kinematics, joint moments, and muscle activity, as well as perceived comfort, knee joint stability, and running performance in healthy runners.

Methods: Twenty healthy participants ran at a self-selected pace along a 20-metre runway under three conditions; no tape (NT), Kinesio Tape with tension (KTT), and Kinesio tape without tension (KTNT). Comparisons of peak hip, knee angles and moments, and EMG were analysed during the stance phase of running.

Results: KTT exhibited significant increases in peak hip flexion, peak hip abduction and hip external rotation compared to NT. Moreover, the KTT condition showed a trend towards a decrease in peak hip internal rotation and adduction angle compared to the NT condition. EMG results showed that Tensor Fascia Latae activity decreased with KTT compared with NT, and Gluteus Maximus activity reduced with KTNT when compared with NT. Ten of the 20 participants indicated important improvements in the comfort score, six participants in the knee stability score, and seven participants in the running performance score when using KTT.

Significance: These results suggest that changes in running biomechanics previously associated with ITBS can be improved with the application of kinesio tape, with the greatest effect seen with the application of kinesio tape with tension. Perceived improvements were seen in comfort, stability and running performance, however these benefits were only seen in half the participants. Further work is required to explore the biomechanical effects and perceived benefits in different patient groups.

Keywords: Electromyography; Iliotibial band syndrome; Kinesio tape; Running; Running biomechanics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Tape*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Hip Joint
  • Humans
  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome*
  • Knee Joint
  • Muscles