Posterior ankle impingement syndrome is a common disorder in soccer players and ballet dancers. In soccer players, it is caused by the repetitive stress of ankle plantar flexion due to instep kicking. Protective ankle dorsiflexion taping is recommended with the belief that it prevents posterior ankle impingement. However, the relationship between ankle taping and ball-kicking performance remains unclear.
To demonstrate the relationship between the restrictions of ankle taping and performance of an instep kick in soccer.
11 male university soccer players.
The subjects’ ankle plantar flexion was limited by taping. Four angles of planter flexion (0°, 15°, 30°, and without taping) were formed by gradation limitation. The subjects performed maximal instep kicks at each angle.
Main Outcome Measures:
The movements of the kicking legs and the ball were captured using 3 high-speed cameras at 200 Hz. The direct linear-transformation method was used to obtain 3-dimensional coordinates using a digitizing system. Passive ankle plantar-flexion angle, maximal plantar-flexion angle at ball impact, ball velocity, and foot velocity were measured. The data were compared among 4 conditions using repeated-measures ANOVA, and the correlations between ball velocity and foot velocity and between ball velocity and toe velocity were calculated.
Ankle dorsiflexion taping could gradually limit both passive plantar flexion and plantar flexion at the impact. Furthermore, limitation of 0° and 15° reduced the ball velocity generated by instep kicks.
Plantar-flexion-limiting taping at 30° has a potential to prevent posterior ankle impingement without decreasing the ball velocity generated by soccer instep kicks.
The authors are with the Graduate School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan.