Time-dependent effects of kinesio tape on hamstring extensibility in non-injured collegiate females

October 14, 2015 / By: Berthiaume, J., Duoos, B.

The use and effectiveness of kinesio tape to enhance athletic performance has become a popular topic of discussion in the last decade. The theorized effects of kinesio tape (KT) include an increased circulation within muscles resulting in greater extensibility thought to improve athletic performance.

PURPOSE: To determine if KT increased hamstring extensibility immediately or only after the recommended 24 hour application period in a healthy population of collegiate females.

METHODS: Baseline right hamstring extensibility in twenty healthy females (ht.=163.86±5.70 cm; wt=60.00±6.65 kg; age=19.50±1.36 years) was initially measured during a passive straight leg raise test using a digital inclinometer (Saunders, 1998). An “X-power” strip of KT was applied directly below the gluteus maximus to the insertion of the hamstrings. “X-power” strips followed the semitendinosus and biceps femoris muscles. Hamstring extensibility was re-measured after five minutes of moderate paced walking. Subjects wore tape for 24 hours and hamstring extensibility was measured a third time. Hamstring extensibility difference was determined using two-sample t-tests (p<0.05).

RESULTS: Hamstring extensibility measured through maximal hip flexion was not increased from baseline during the acute phase of KT application (145.75±8.59 vs. 150.40±8.00°, p=0.085). Hamstring extensibility was significantly increased from baseline following 24 hour application of KT (145.75±8.59 vs. 152.45±5.43°, p=0.006).

CONCLUSION: The use of KT may lead to enhancement of athletic performance through an improvement in flexibility of healthy muscle.