Kinesiology Tape (KT) has been used to improve mobility and muscle activation. Limited research has studied its effect on respiratory function. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of KT on chest wall excursion (CWE) and magnitude of respiratory muscle activation.
Ninety subjects were randomly assigned to receive KT, sham tape, or no tape around the lower thoracic region. Measures, including CWE, maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP), and surface electromyography (sEMG) of intercostal and scalene muscles, were taken during a maximal inspiratory effort before (T-B) and after (T-1) tape application. Subjects continued to wear the tape and returned 48 hours later for another set of measurements (T-2). Repeated measures Analysis of Variance and post-hoc paired t-tests were used to determine the influence of tape.
No significant differences were identified for sEMG amplitude or CWE. Maximal inspiratory pressure scores showed no significant between-group effect; however, a significant within-group effect was found. Post-hoc analyses revealed significant differences between T-B and T-2 and T-1 and T-2 for all groups.
Kinesiology Tape application did not show increased muscle activation, CWE, or MIP compared with sham and control scenarios. A significant training effect for MIP was identified. Future research should investigate KT effects in other age groups or with the presence of pulmonary pathology.