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Context: Allied health care professionals commonly apply cryotherapy as treatment for acute musculoskeletal trauma and the associated symptoms. Understanding the impact of a tape barrier on intramuscular temperature can assist in determining treatment duration for effective cryotherapy. Objective: To determine whether Kinesio® Tape acts as a barrier that affects intramuscular temperature during cryotherapy application. Design: A repeated-measures, counterbalanced design in which the independent variable was tape application and the dependent variable was muscle temperature as measured by thermocouples placed 1 cm beneath the adipose layer. Additional covariates for robustness were body mass index and adipose thickness. Setting: University research laboratory. Participants: Nineteen male college students with no contraindications to cryotherapy, no known sensitivity to Kinesio® Tape, and no reported quadriceps injury within the past 6 months. Intervention: Topical cryotherapy: cubed ice bags of 1 kg and 0.5 kg. Main Outcome Measures: Intramuscular temperature. Results: The tape barrier had no statistically significant effect on muscle temperature. The pattern of temperature change was indistinguishable between participants with and without tape application. Conclusions: Findings suggest that health care professionals can combine cryotherapy with a Kinesio® Tape application without any need for adjustments to cryotherapy duration.
Lyman and Gange are with North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND. McCrone is with University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD. Hanson is with Butler University, Indianapolis, IN. Mellinger is with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC.