The effects of a postural adjusting kinesio taping method on spinal and stride kinematics in thoroughbreds

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Introduction: Kinesio Taping (KT) is a well-recognized method in human and equine rehabilitation and sports management, widely used by chiropractors, physiotherapists, coaches and massage therapists. In the human research, KT-application and its effectiveness are explored and discussed at length in a variety of patient and healthy populations. Proposed benefits of KT-application include reduction in pain, and improvement in lymphatic and cardiovascular circulation, range of motion (ROM), strength, proprioception, postural control and muscle recruitment. Although KT in equine athletes is growing in popularity, knowledge about its effect on horses’ kinematics is lacking. Research aims: The study aimed to determine the effects of a KT method on kinematics of the back and pelvis, and linear and temporal stride kinematics during in-hand walk and trot. Methods: A randomised controlled crossover design was employed. Thirteen Thoroughbreds (aged 7±4yrs [mean±s.d.]; seven flat racehorses, four national hunters, two retired national hunters) were examined in walk and trot in-hand, during randomised experimental KT and control conditions. The KT intervention was applied by the same physiotherapist on the thirteen horses. Eight inertial motion unit (IMU) sensors (Figure 1) were fixed along the spine and pelvis to measure mean stride time and average spinal translational (dorsoventral, mediolateral, craniocaudal) and rotational (roll, pitch, yaw) kinematics of each sensor for each trial based on minimum eight strides. Markerless tracking in DartfishTM software was used to analyse static 2D-video to measure mean stride length (SL) and tracking distance (TD) in the sagittal plane based on minimum three strides per trial. SL was measured as the distance between successive ground contacts of the forelimb toe at maximum protraction and TD as the distance between the hoof prints of the hind foot and fore foot. Paired t-tests and Wilcoxon Signed-rank tests analysed within-subject differences between conditions. Results: Stride time and SL did not differsignificantly between conditions in walk (p>0.05; 1222±50, 1211±54 ms; 1.6±02, 1.5±0.2 m) or trot (p>0.05; 707±30, 707±36 ms; 1.8±0.2, 1.9±0.2 m). TD increased significantly in walk and in trot in the KT-condition compared to control-condition (p=0.006; p=0.001). In walk, the ROM of withers roll decreased with KT (p=0.038). In trot, mediolateral, pitch and yaw ROM of withers decreased (p=0.040; p=0.025; p=0.020), as well as mediolateral ROM of lumbar spine (p=0.051), and craniocaudal ROM of LTC increased (p=0.015), enhancing sagittal symmetry levels between LTC and RTC (p=0.031), when trotting in KT-condition compared to control-condition (Table 1). No significant differences were seen in the kinematics of the poll, lower thoracic, sacrum and RTC sensors (p>0.05).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the UK Student Equine Conference 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
EventUK Equine Student Conference : Virtual event 2020 - Virtual
Duration: 15 Jul 202015 Jul 2020


ConferenceUK Equine Student Conference
Abbreviated titleUKESC 2020


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