Context Deficits in balance have been identified as a possible risk factor for knee injuries in athletes. Despite a lack of evidence for its effectiveness, kinesiology tape (KT) is widely used to prevent knee injuries.
To investigate the influence of KT at the knee joint on balance ability in healthy men after eccentric exercise.
Patients or Other Participants:
Twelve young men with no history of lower limb injury volunteered for the study (age = 23.3 ± 2.6 years). All participants were students enrolled in a sports science program.
Participants performed the balance test with and without KT at the knee joint on 2 separate days.
Main Outcome Measure(s):
The ability to maintain balance was assessed during a single-legged–stance test using a computerized balance-stability test system. The test was performed before and after 30 minutes of downhill walking on a treadmill.
Eccentric exercise resulted in a deterioration of balance ability, which was attenuated by the use of KT. Further analyses revealed that the effectiveness of KT depended on the participant’s balance status, with the preventive effect being greater in participants presenting with poorer baseline balance ability.
Applied to the knee joint, KT counteracted the exercise-related deterioration of balance ability observed when no tape was used. Participants presenting with below-average balance ability received more benefit from KT. By preventing exercise-related impairment of balance ability, KT might help to reduce the risk of sport-associated knee injuries.