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Could Forearm Kinesio Taping Improve Strength, Force Sense, and Pain in Baseball Pitchers With Medial Epicondylitis?

Chang, Hsiao-Yun PT, PhD*,†; Wang, Chun-Hou PT*,†; Chou, Kun-Yu MS; Cheng, Shih-Chung PhD§

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: July 2012 - Volume 22 - Issue 4 - p 327–333
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e318254d7cd
Original Research

Objective: To determine short-term effects of applied forearm Kinesio Taping (KT) on pain, wrist flexor strength, and force sense for baseball players with medial epicondylitis (ME).

Design: Case-control repeated measures study.

Setting: Clinical sports medicine research laboratory in a medical university.

Participants: A group of 10 baseball players with ME (ME group) and another group of 17 healthy collegiate athletes (healthy group).

Intervention: Three taping conditions were applied in both groups: (1) no taping applied, (2) placebo taping applied (PT), and (3) KT applied.

Main Outcome Measures: Three variables were measured including maximal wrist flexor strength, related/absolute force sense errors, and pain scale (pressure pain and pain tolerance) under 3 taping conditions.

Results: No significant relationship was found either in maximal wrist flexor strength or in related force sense errors between the 2 groups with taping applied, except absolute force sense errors (P = 0.037). Both the healthy group and the ME group in absolute force sense measurement significantly decreased the errors in PT and KT conditions. Also, the tolerance of pressure pain also improved in both the healthy group and the ME group when performing PT and KT conditions.

Conclusions: Forearm KT may enhance absolute force sense and improve pain condition for both healthy athletes and athletes suffering from ME when placebo and KT applied. However, KT did not result in significant changes in maximal wrist flexor strength for either group.

*School of Physical Therapy, College of Medical Science & Technology, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

Room of Physical Therapy, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

Department of Physical Education, National Taichung University of Education, Taichung, Taiwan

§Ortho & SportsMed, Graduate Institute of Coaching Science, National Taiwan Sport University, Taoyuan, Taiwan.

Corresponding Author: Shih-Chung Cheng, PhD, Graduate Institute of Coaching Science, 250 Wen-Hua 1st Rd, Guishan, Taoyuan 33301, Taiwan (shihchung@mail.ntsu.edu.tw).

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Received September 5, 2011

Accepted March 6, 2012

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.