Kinesiology taping and ankle foot orthosis equivalent therapeutic effects on gait function in stroke patients with foot drop: A preliminary study

Medicine (Baltimore). 2023 Jul 14;102(28):e34343. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000034343.


An ankle foot orthosis (AFO) is a standard type of orthosis applied to immediately treat foot drop symptoms. Kinesiology taping (KT) is a therapeutic method used in patients with neurological diseases, such as stroke, as well as in patients after orthopedic and sports injuries. This study aimed to compare outcomes of AFO treatment with those of KT to investigate the effect on gait ability in patients with foot drop after stroke. We recruited 18 patients exhibiting foot drop from stroke. Gait ability was assessed under 2 conditions: treatment with KT and that with AFO using the GAITRite system according to the following parameters: cadence, velocity, swing time, stance time, step length, and stride length. As a result, gait ability after treatment with KT and that after treatment with AFO showed no significant differences in cadence (P = .851), velocity (P = .865), swing time (P = .289 and .123), stance time (P = .255 and .711), step length (P = .955 and .975), and stride length (P = .711 and .690) of the affected and less-affected limbs. This study demonstrated that KT and AFO use have similar effects on gait function in patients with foot drop after stroke. Thus, treatment of foot drop with KT may be an alternative in patients for whom AFO use is contraindicated.

MeSH terms

  • Ankle
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Foot Orthoses*
  • Gait
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic* / etiology
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Paresis
  • Peroneal Neuropathies*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Stroke* / complications
  • Stroke* / therapy