Temporal efficacy of kinesiology tape vs. Traditional stretching methods on hamstring extensibility.

Claire Farquharson, Matt Greig

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND The epidemiology and aetiology of hamstring injuries in sport have been well documented. Kinesiology tape has been advocated as a means of improving muscle flexibility, with potential implications for injury prevention. PURPOSE To compare the temporal pattern of efficacy of kinesiology tape and traditional stretching techniques on hamstring extensibility. STUDY DESIGN Controlled laboratory study. METHODS Thirty recreationally active male participants (Mean ± SD: age 21.0 ± 0.1 years; height 180 ± 6 cm; mass 79.4 ± 6.9 kg) completed an active knee extension assessment (of the dominant leg) as a measure of hamstring extensibility. Three experimental interventions of equal time duration were applied in randomized order: Kinesiology tape (KT), static stretch (SS), proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). Measures were taken at baseline, +1, +10 and +30 mins after each intervention. The temporal pattern of change in active knee extension (AKE) was modelled as a range of regression polynomials for each intervention, quantified as the regression coefficient. RESULTS With baseline scores not statistically different between groups, and baseline AKE set at 100%, PNF showed a significant improvement immediately post-intervention (PNF+1 = 107.7 ± 8.2%, p = .01). Thereafter, only KT showed significant improvements in active knee extension (KT+10 = 106.0 ± 7.1%, p = .05; KT+30 = 106.9 ± 5.0%, p = .02). The temporal pattern of changes in active knee extension after intervention was best modelled as a positive quadratic for KT, with a predicted peak of 108.8% baseline score achieved at 24.2 mins. SS was best modelled as a negative linear function, and PNF as a negative logarithmic function, reflecting a rapid decrease in active knee extension after an immediate positive effect. CONCLUSION Each intervention displayed a unique temporal pattern of changes in active knee extension. PNF was best suited to affect immediate improvements in hamstring extensibility, whereas kinesiology tape offered advantages over a longer duration. CLINICAL RELEVANCE The logistics of the sporting or clinical context will often dictate the delay between intervention and performance. Our findings have implications for the timing and choice of intervention aimed at increasing hamstring extensibility in relation to performance. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE 2c.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physical Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


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