Objective: Chronic Ankle Instability (CAI) is characterised by recurrent giving way and often develops after repeated lateral ankle sprains. Kinesiotape is more elastic than traditional athletic tape and is becoming increasingly popular. It is reported to decrease pain, improve muscle function, circulation and proprioception, however, research examining the effects of Kinesiotape in CAI is limited. The objective of this study was to determine if applying Kinesiotape to chronically unstable ankles improved performance in the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT).
Design: Crossover design study with participants randomised to the taped or untaped condition first.
Setting: Lab-based study.
Participants: Sixteen participants (10 female, 6 male; age 22.4 ± 1.41 years; height 1.77 ±0 .08 m; weight 71.9 ± 8.7 kg) from university sports clubs participated in the study. Inclusion criteria was a lateral ankle sprain in the previous year, self-reported history of CAI and Cumberland Ankle Instability Tool score <24.
Intervention: Kinesiotape was applied to the affected ankles using an adapted form of the lateral sprain technique and participants waited 20 minutes after application or removal before testing.
Main Outcome Measures: Reach distances were measured in antero-medial, medial and postero medial directions of the SEBT in taped and untaped conditions.
Results: There were no significant differences in reach distance in any direction of the SEBT between taped and untaped conditions (p>0.05).
Conclusion: Kinesiotape did not improve reach distance in the SEBT in young, active individuals with CAI. Further research examining the therapeutic effectiveness of Kinesiotape in CAI is warranted.