Effects of Taping and Balance Exercises on Knee and Lower-Extremity Function in Amateur Soccer Players: A Randomized Controlled Trial

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Knee injury prevention is a critical aspect in sport rehabilitation sciences, and taping is a widely used technique in this field. Nevertheless, the role and effectiveness of a long-term application of Kinesio Taping (KT) on knee function, disability, and injury prevention remain unclear. Objective: To determine the effect of KT, alone or in combination with balance exercises (BE), on dynamic and static knee balance and flexibility. Design: Randomized trial design. Setting: University of Valencia (Spain). Participants: Forty-eight male amateur soccer players. Intervention: Participants were assigned to 3 groups: Sham KT (sKT) + BE, KT + BE, and KT in isolation. The intervention period lasted 4 weeks. Three evaluations were performed: at baseline (pre), at 2 weeks (mid), and at 4 weeks posttreatment (post). Main outcome measures: Y Balance Test, unipedal stance test, the toe touch test, and the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score. Results: Both sKT + BE and KT + BE groups achieved significant pre–post improvements in SEBT, unipedal stance test, and toe touch test. The KT group only showed significant intragroup differences in the left and right unipedal stance test variable (P < .05, d = 0.76, d = 0.62, respectively). The sham KT group obtained the strongest results in all physical variables. Regarding the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score, pre–post significant changes were found in the sham group (P < .05, d = 0.28). Conclusions: Both sham and real KT in combination with BE achieved significant improvements on all physical variables, and these differences were significantly greater compared with those found in the KT in the isolation group, suggesting that benefits in knee function are due to the BE. Level of Evidence: Therapy level 1b.

The authors are with the Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Physiotherapy, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain.

Espí-López (gemma.espi@uv.es) is corresponding author.
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