Investigating the Effectiveness of Kinesiology Tape on Joint Proprioception and Muscle Activity

  • Anwar Ahmed

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

A new kinesiology tape (KT) which is elastic, breathable and user friendly, caught attention of athletes and patients who suffer from musculoskeletal injuries with better stretchability over conventional static tape (ST). With better stretching properties the tape when attached to skin can apply tension, the inventors of KT claims that it can improve muscular activity, decrease pain, enhance joints range of motion, and improve joint stability when applied on the skin to the affect area. The tape has been reportedly used to treat instabilities and musculoskeletal injuries and as a preventive measure for enhancing range of motion which performing strenuous sports. To validate these claims the characteristics of KT are to be tested experimentally. Previous studies that tested claims of KT have reported inconsistent results, jeopardizing KT claims. This thesis aims to evaluate effect of applying KT on the knee and ankle joints in sagittal, transverse, and coronal planes, and investigate the proprioception compared with no tape and ST group. The effect of KT on muscle activity was evaluated explicitly using gastrocnemius medialis, fibularis longus, and rectus femoris muscles. Assessment method based on joint position test (JPT) was performed during 400 knee flexion of bilateral squatting repeated five times. 41 healthy participants (21 females; 20 male) having an average age of 22years, height 172.7cm and weight 75.88kg. Joint angles were recorded using reflective markers, accompanied by 8 cameras from 3D motion analysis system ViconĀ©, Oxford Metrics and Delseys' electromyography (EMG) sensors were used to record EMG signals. Joint angles analyzed and arranged in quartiles in according to sagittal plane, ordered from smallest to the highest grade when knee flexed at 400. Application of KT enhanced the proprioception by 2-30 when compared to no-tape group; and ST had similar effect. The angle data was analyzed using Friedman and Mann Whitney tests; and no significant differences were detected in the KT group. Muscle activity of 3 muscles when investigated using time-frequency analysis after applying Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) amplitude spectrum was obtained. Medians from the amplitude spectrum were investigated in each power after applying KT compared to no tape group and ST group. Minimal change was observed in muscle activity, and no significant differences were found with Freidman and Mann Whitney Test. The results were unable to validate claims made by KT inventors on joint proprioception and muscle activity.
Date of AwardJul 2021
Original languageAmerican English

Keywords

  • Kinesiology tape
  • Proprioception
  • Muscle activity
  • Electromyography Signals
  • Joint Kinematics

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