We have previously outlined a study by Thedon et al (2011) in which they found that the application of Transpore tape decreased the postural sway in individuals when they had fatigued calf muscles. This month we will highlight a study by Cortesi et al (2011) where they looked at the effect of kinesiology tape on standing balance in patients with multiple sclerosis.
In this study the subjects had some compromise in their balance systems due to their neurological condition and it was proposed that the tape may improve their balance by augmenting the sensory input, much like the Thedon study where the compromise was due to muscle fatigue. In the Cortesi et al study they found that the application of kinesiology tape reduced the AP sway compared with the no tape test. Given that the tape was applied from the base of the foot to mid calf along the Achilles tendon, this directional reduction of sway would make sense, whereas there was no reduction of lateral sway. The study also found that the “length of path” that the subjects’ centre of gravity travelled was reduced with the tape in place. The authors state that the path length is “mechanically related to energy expenditure” so therefore a reduced path length means a reduced energy expenditure- an important finding in MS patients in whom fatigue is prevalent.
This study was small in sample size, being a pilot study, and it lacked randomisation so the findings should be interpreted with caution. However, this study once again highlights the positive effects that are often seen when using kinesiology tape in a compromised system, perhaps to augment the mechanoreceptor input to the brain.
Cotesi, M., Cattaneo, D., & Jonsdottir, J., (2011) Effect of kinesio taping on standing balance in subjects with multiple sclerosis: a pilot study. Neurorehabilitation 28 365-372.