Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if elastic therapeutic tape placed on anterior lower limbs would affect stride and step length in fatigued runners’ gait.
Methods: Forty-two healthy participants were equally divided into a kinesiology tape group (Rocktape) and a no-tape control group. Participants in both groups underwent a baseline running gait test at 6 mph without tape. After this, participants engaged in an exhaustive lower body fatigue protocol until they reached maximal volitional exhaustion. Participants were then randomized to 1 of 2 interventions: (1) Experimental group, which had kinesiology tape placed under tension on the anterior aspect of their lower limbs bilaterally from the upper thigh to just below the patella, or (2) Control group, which did not receive taping. All participants then engaged in a similar 6-mph running gait postanalysis. Participant’s gait was analyzed for 90 seconds during each test iteration. Researchers used a 2-way repeated-measures analysis of variance considering fatigue (prefatigue, postfatigue) and group (tape, no-tape) as subject factors.
Results: After the fatigue protocol, the no-tape group demonstrated a significant decrease in step length of 14.2 mm (P = .041) and stride length of 29.4 mm (P = .043). The kinesiology tape group did not demonstrate a significant decline in these gait parameters.
Conclusions: In this preliminary study, placing elastic therapeutic tape over the anterior lower limbs demonstrated short-term preservation of runner step length and stride length in a fatigued state.
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