Objective: To investigate the immediate effects on maximal muscle strength of kinesiotaping (KT) applied to the dominant quadriceps of healthy subjects.
Design: Single-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial.
Setting: “Salvatore Maugeri” Foundation.
Participants: With ethical approval and informed consent, a convenience sample of 36 healthy volunteers were recruited. Two subjects did not complete the sessions and were excluded from the analysis.
Interventions: Subjects were tested across 3 different sessions, randomly receiving 2 experimental KT conditions applied with the aim of enhancing and inhibiting muscle strength and a sham KT application.
Main Outcome Measures: Quadriceps muscle strength was measured by means of an isokinetic maximal test performed at 60 and 180 degrees per second. Two secondary outcome measures were performed: the single-leg triple hop for distance to measure limb performance and the Global Rating of Change Scale (GRCS) to calculate agreement between KT application and subjective perception of strength.
Results: Compared with baseline, none of the 3 taping conditions showed a significant change in muscle strength and performance (all P > 0.05). Effect size was very low under all conditions (≤0.08). Very few subjects showed an individual change greater than the minimal detectable change. Global Rating of Change Scale scores demonstrated low to moderate agreement with the type of KT applied, but some placebo effects were reported independently of condition.
Conclusions: Our findings indicated no significant effect in the maximal quadriceps strength immediately after the application of inhibition, facilitation, or sham KT. These results do not support the use of KT applied in this way to change maximal muscle strength in healthy people.
*Unit of Occupational Rehabilitation and Ergonomics, Fondazione “Salvatore Maugeri,” Clinica del Lavoro e della Riabilitazione, IRCCS, Veruno, Italy
†Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Rome “Tor Vergata,” Rome, Italy
‡Physical Therapy School, “Insubria” University, Varese, Italy
§Department of Geriatrics, Gerontology, and Physical Sciences, University Hospital “A. Gemelli,” Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy
Corresponding Author: Stefano Vercelli, PT, MSc, Fondazione “Salvatore Maugeri”, IRCCS, Istituto Scientifico di Veruno, Servizio di Fisiatria Occupazionale ed Ergonomia, Via per Revislate 13, I-28010, Veruno, Novara, Italy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors report no financial or conflicts of interest.
Received September 14, 2011
Accepted January 23, 2012