It is apparent that kinesio taping is an effective method of addressing ankle sprains and instability, but it is also believed to be limited to swelling-chronic conditions, and little is known about this aspect, as relevant statistical data is insignificant. At any rate, kinesio taping is an efficient method used for prevention and treatment of ankle sprains, and the results of the observation are quite consistent with the work by Seo et al. (2016), who suggest the following statements. Kinesio taping improves proprioceptive control during dorsiflexion and inversion of ankle joint. The tape ensures the provision of blood circulation and balanced spacing between skin and muscles, so that movement is not painful, meanwhile the mechanics of the motion are not limited to tape restraint (Seo et al. 2016). As a result, the experiment also suggests that kinesio taping renders better mobility as well as proprioception throughout increased stimulation of cutaneous mechanoreceptors. In such a way, the research is consistent with a common statement that kinesio taping enables an individual to perform basic motions with a relatively stable control of joints and eased pain.
Discussing the increase in stimulation of cutaneous mechanoreceptors, it is worth saying that appliance of kinesio taping induces the release of encephalin thereby eliminating pain and providing limited glide of joints against muscles. A moderate elasticity of kinesio taping provides a support for the ankle and sensitivity of its joint (Kim et al. 2015). Hence, basic physical exercises can be performed within 24 hours after the injury meanwhile a healthy athlete may use kinesio taping as a means of preventing his/her ankles from sprain and excessive glide of the joints against muscles and ligaments (Kim et al. 2015). At any rate, universal appliance of kinesio taping has been ranged unabated yet, since the study has also experienced a strong statistical insignificance in relation to these conditions (Pamuk & Yucesoy 2015). In particular, CAI test results are insufficiently observed to state that kinesio taping can be applied in the cases of chronic ankle instability and other long term joint disorders, and the present study is congruent with such a trend.
Kinesio taping is reported to provide stability to ankles with an instability disorder, as its mechanic control is sufficient for limiting muscles and ligaments from an excessive motion against the joint. Nevertheless, the study suggests that a more prolonged testing of this aspect is mandatory, since similar researches claim that there are many uncertainties regarding the longer terms of kinesio taping owing the physical characteristics and potential changes in biomechanics (Tremblay & Karam 2015). Still, MEP, SP, and background EMG should be measured in taped conditions in order to reveal extensive potential of kinesio taping in controlling ankle joints and easing pain within longer periods, since the study does not provide much statistics for that aspect (Tremblay & Karam 2015). Again, it becomes increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that many aspects of kinesio taping’s study are as vague or less effective effectiveness within insufficient periods as the related investigations (Rojhani-Shirazi, Amirian, & Meftahi 2015). Hence, many researchers assume that each test should be conducted independently and with a selective choice of sample population, because different conditions of ankle instability require respective approaching, so that the present study is statistically limited to similar researches.
It is informative to note that kinesio taping is also effective in some dynamic activities performed with the use of an affected joint. The study is congruent with Ho et. al. (2015) finding the evidence that vertical jumps and run-ups are safe with kinesio taping, as long as kinesio taping restores proprioceptive deficit caused by a wider motion of muscles and ligaments from the joint. As a result, a sensory input of skin is capable of modulating muscle motion with more ease and less pain. Nonetheless, many functional activities of unstable ankles have not been measured sufficiently to make a particular clinical judgement, so the research is also limited in the same regard (Ho et al. 2015). The main concern regarding the extensive use of kinesio taping is a dynamic adjustment of its mechanics to a type of ankle instability disorder, but a present state of knowledge does not contain such details in this respect, and the study accordingly does not provide any new findings in relation to that (Choi et al. 2013). Therefore, it is relevant to say that kinesio taping can be recommended for permanent clinical appliance or concerns for ankle sprain.
Another aspect of ankle instability addressed with kinesio taping is saggital plane posture control. This aspect is essential for the ankle instability in a number of ways, since posture control is a foundational function, which keeps a joint attached to a particular set of muscles and ligaments (Shields et al. 2013). The study is consistent with such statement and even suggests that kinesio taping provides an additional foundational support, so that the posture is not weakened, and hence the joint does not lose contact with the muscles and skin to the extent of pain as well as inability to perform basic dynamic motions (Shields et al. 2013). Stability of ankle with appliance of kinesio taping, however, was not investigated enough to outline a direct improvement of dynamic motions and credible posture. Such doubts can be justified by the fact that statistical data of the related research were mainly based on paired TTB test, which did not provide multiple variables for the depiction of a certain tendency (Lee & Yoo 2012). That is why posture control is a hypothetical outcome of the present investigation and similar preceding studies.
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However, a similar study witnessed a credible stability of joints and even a potential for a pain-free confident physical dynamics, mainly in performing basic motions. The patients also confirmed a better ability to move and make even short run-ups without feeling a strong pain and slide of the joint without respective muscle straightening (Hubbard & Cordova 2010). It is no surprise that such evidence was reported, as kinesio taping provides general control and limits of ankle-adjoined muscles (Hubbard & Cordova 2010). However, it is necessary to place the emphasis on the fact that CAI test taken simultaneously with participants’ testimonials suggested that kinesio taping is not eligible for a regular clinical appliance due to its narrow applicability in a very specific range of cases, and the study agrees on that fact with Williams et al. (2012). Thus, this aspect is also a vague issue that needs a more profound research even though positive results have been reported.
In the same vein, kinesio taping limits passive anterior stiffness, so that the ankle is preserved from sprain or any other similar injury. The elasticity of kinesio taping, however, is a determinant factor, as excessive pressure and absence of elasticity may facilitate damage of ligaments leading to a strong localized separation of muscles from the joint (Delahunt et al. 2010). At the same time, the research outlines a similar finding that kinesio taping does not alter a peak laxity, which is why the ankle is still exposed to injuries at an extremely high rate of dynamic motion (Tregouet, Merland, & Horodyski 2013). These effects were verified through TTS testing, which did not demonstrate a credible evidence of any positive or adverse effects (Delahunt et al. 2010). Taking these points into account, an individual characterization of kinesio taping appliance should be given, as the present research as well as related studies do not demonstrate sufficient certainty in the effectiveness of its use on a large scale of injured as well as healthy ankles control. Investigation of a cellular level change is the best approach to reveal a specific tendency, so that additional study is mandatory.
In spite of the insufficiency of statistical data in support of the following assumption, kinesio taping is revealed to render control over dynamic motion with a satisfactory reduction of pain and self-efficacy in the cases of regular dynamic activity. In other words, kinesio taping is reported to adjust its control in case a point of ligament and muscle withdrawal are especially high according to Fayson, Needle, and Kaminski (2013) with whose study, the present investigation is consistent. This element of kinesio taping effects ensures stability of the ankle, which is why such means of control and adjustment of unstable joint were detected by both studies (Fayson, Needle, & Kaminski 2013). However, performance of functional motion tasks is measured as ineligible for a normal physical activity of an athlete, as long as the extents of ligament and muscle withdrawal may exceed normal borders because of excessive physical activity or repetitive trauma while performing these activities.
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Eventually, kinesio taping addresses lateral ankle pain and flexibility throughout the control of functional dynamic balance. The research is congruent with Lins et al. (2016) in regards to the statement that kinesio taping holds the joint in a stable position, so that it does not excessively separate from the muscles thereby providing comfort and painless motion. Needless to say, the tape’s appliance means a mechanical protection, and does not facilitate full physiological recovery. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that kinesio taping addresses various mechanical issues of ankle sprain and instability, and is reported to have vague or statistically unreliable effects on distinct parameters of ankle activity (Halim-Kertanegaram et al. 2016). Such common lack of statistical data suggests that a larger incidence of ankle sprains and instability should be researched in terms of kinesio taping application (Knight & Weimar 2012). Positive effects of the tape are observed almost in each study, but frequent statistical insignificance is recognized as a certain gap that is supposed to be addressed in the future; otherwise the effectiveness of the tape will not be proved.
Beyond a doubt, kinesio taping is described not only in a positive connotation but also with a particular degree of criticism due to the statistical insignificance of numerous aspects and henceforth absence of the credibility of this method. Knowledge regarding kinesio taping appliance to ankle sprain and instability is rather vague, and presence of contradictions is the main driving force for a more profound research to be conducted (Lee & Lee 2016). The matter is that this and other studies actually reveal a strong effectiveness of kinesio taping in specific but multiple cases, which is why the tape is recognized as an efficient mechanical protection from ankle sprains (Forbes et al. 2013). At the same time, the research as well as related theoreticians assume that most of their studies always lack data in relation to a particular aspect or a group of such (Lee & Lee 2016). Thus, kinesio taping may be proved to be a universally applicable means of mechanic control of ankles or vice versa redundant and infrequently applicable.
Ineffectiveness and Vague Impacts
As it has already been mentioned, kinesio taping effects are limited to swelling-chronic conditions of unstable ankle. Generally speaking, low or even absent effectiveness of kinesio taping is frequently reported with regard to chronic conditions of the ankle. The main cause of such tendency is inability of the tape to address a cellular level of these conditions, because the ankle instability is usually caused by physiological pathology based not necessarily on injury or sprain (Nunes et al. 2015). Conversely, measuring effectiveness of mechanical means of control on a cellular level is not entirely adequate (Nunes et al. 2015). The tape’s elasticity and related pressure induce micro impedance within the tissues, so that a consequent ease of pain and more balanced stretching of muscles is potentially possible, but this domain is not investigated in theoretical and empirical sense, which is why such a gap is present.
Surprisingly, a number of cases have been reported to have no effect of kinesio taping at all. This study admitted that participants did not feel any improvement but only a limitation of motion and excessive pressure on their ankles (Windisch et al. 2016) even though the present study suggests that decreased motion of the ankle provides its closer attachment to ligaments, muscles, and skin thereby easing dynamic physical activity as well as eliminating pain. Moreover, inapplicability of kinesio taping to each case is also possible, especially with regard to the fact that the tape did not prove to be effective in the cases of chronic ankle sprain (Briem et al. 2011). This aspect should be evidently researched, as unjustified appliance of kinesio taping may adversely affect patients/athletes’ conditions (Szymura et al. 2016). Again, statistical insignificance of the present study makes aforementioned statements unreliable in practical and academic senses.
Kinesio taping can be also ineffective in terms of serving its basic function of sustaining stability of the ankle’s joint. The matter is that the tape embraces the muscle tissues rather than the joint together with ligaments, which is why motion of the joint is possible; meanwhile muscles are not stretched enough to correspond to a respective movement of the joint (Aguilar-Ferrandiz et al. 2014). As a result, such taping causes an adverse effect: it prevents muscle from stretching and causes additional pain because of unbalanced motion of the joint without respective glide along with ligaments and muscles (Aguilar-Ferrandiz et al. 2014). On the contrary, the current research proves that sufficient pressure of the tape enables a skin stretching and hence results in reduced pain during dynamic motion and performing basic physical tasks. Stability of the joint as well as components susceptible to the appliance of kinesio taping is still not proved to some extent, as it does not render complete reduction of pain and control of the sprained ankle during dynamic movements.
Unlike the current research, multiple studies witness a strong placebo effect with regard to the pain reduction and ability of a free motion. Needless to say, this evidence places a biased clinical experience on the use of kinesio taping and makes the entire conceptualization of the tape rather vague (Kemler et al. 2011). Placebo effect has been detected due to randomized trials of patients with ankle sprains and instabilities, who claimed that they felt much better after appliance of kinesio taping within a period of 24 to 72 hours (Chinn 2014). As a matter of fact, subsequent testing provided entirely different evidence, as positioning and posture of ankle joints did not comply with the perceptions expressed by the participants (Chinn 2014). Therefore, the placebo effect can be a determinant factor in the explanation of statistical investigation in the studies and clinical trials, and an entirely different approach towards the related research may be needed to refute or prove all the aforementioned statements.
In addition, the present research does not agree with other studies on the fact that the use of kinesio taping implies a great degree of uncertainty in relation to athletes’ comfort during physical activity as well as performance of basic dynamic motions even though balanced elasticity of the tape is able to address various symptoms of the sprain or ankle instability (Balki, Goktas, & Oztemur 2016). At the same time, the appliance of the tape may not ensure physical comfort but may even cause minor additional pain, so that kinesio taping cannot be recommended as an implications-free method for controlling ankle instability and pain reduction (Gómez-Soriano et al. 2013). Thus, kinesio taping cannot be used in the cases of extreme clinical severity and pain in spite of the fact that similar studies admit improvement of joint postures and decreased pain level (Gómez-Soriano et al. 2013). A large presence of placebo effect is still possible even in relation to the above aspect of ankle instability, especially in the cases when an athlete is convincing himself/herself in the need for active sport performance regardless of the ankle sprain/instability.
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All in all, the current study is limited to identification of kinesio taping’s bio mechanic functioning and protection. Motion and dynamic activities can be controlled with the tape and even provide comfort to an athlete during sport performance and basic movements (Tu, Woledge, & Morrisey 2015). In contrast, kinesio taping can hardly address all clinical aspects of joint instability simultaneously, which is why a major research is mandatory for the identification of distinct strengths and weaknesses of the tape (Simon, Garcia, & Docherty 2014). A large presence of statistical insignificance and frequent biases in relation to the placebo effect provide an inclination for further studies in this regard (Simon, Garcia, & Docherty 2014). There has been a little agreement on what the distinct implications on the positive effects of kinesio taping appliance are, and what preexisting conditions should be present to make a judgement in favor of kinesio taping clinical use. However, certain discrepancies can be confirmed even now, so they are worth a detailed discussion.
In fact, dorsiflexion established with the use of kinesio taping is also a vague effect. To be more specific, the tape does not provide extensibility of muscles, so that a fixed posture of the joint is redundant and can even be painful. Absence of desired muscle tone and excessive fix of the joint demonstrate the low effectiveness of central kinesio taping’s functions, even though the current study reports about opposite effects (Hashemirad, Karimi, & Keshavarz 2016). This can be a limitation to a particular sample of participants or group of cases, but lack of required knowledge is evidently explicit in regard to the identification of conditions for the tape’s clinical and bio mechanical efficacy (Bicici, Karatas, & Baltaci 2012). The main effect of the tape appears to be vague under specific circumstances, which is why previously reported statistical insignificances are not necessarily based on inappropriate research designs or selection of samples (Bicici, Karatas, & Baltaci 2012). A certain number of discrepancies detected are likely to reveal clinical inapplicability of kinesio taping in comparison with strong positive effects in terms of mechanical comfort.
That is why the supplementary use of kinesio taping may become a final outcome of the related studies, but a factual improvement of supportive, mechanical, and dynamic functions cannot be denied (Goksu, Tuncay, & Borman 2016). One may argue that a great bias is placed on a placebo effect, and a different study might report an entirely opposite tendency. Placebo effect is often a persistent factor, but a wide range of studies prove effectiveness of kinesio taping in relation to the aforementioned functions in the light of the results of randomized trials, so that a probability of placebo effect for the entire sample of randomly chosen participants is obviously insignificant to perceive the related research as methodologically biased (Janssen et al. 2013). Overall, contradictions discussed have a credible rationale, but opposite statements are also supported with empirical evidence. Thus, statistical issue is the main gap of the present and related researches in both supportive as well as refuting domains, and their completion requires a more profound investigation or a choice of a different research design.
The discussion chapter has provided a meaningful account on various standpoints regarding the effectiveness of kinesio taping for the treatment of athletes with ankle instability, which is why the discussion has come to the following preliminary conclusions:
- The current study is coherent with researches and trials of kinesio taping appliance in the cases of ankle sprain and instability, which demonstarte lack statistical significance in a wide array of related aspects. This outcome is the most major constraint, but multiple gaps provide a rationale for a constant challenge of this statement. Hence, a more profound investigation is required in order to make currently available knowledge distinct and unbiased.
- The present study is congruent with researches that confirm that Kinesio taping is efficient for the provision of mechanical and supplementary support. The arguments in favor and against the common use of the tape include the evidence that mechanical characteristics are particularly excellent, especially in relation to the tape’s elasticity and the type of injury. Despite speculations concerning the insufficiency of statistical evidence and persistence of placebo effects, bio mechanical aspect of the tape’s use is obviously a strong characteristic.
- Nonetheless, kinesio taping is ineffective for a number of conditions and cases of applicability, and the present investigation does not give an account of that matter. Numerous reports and randomized trials suggested that kinesio taping can be applied in a limited number of clinical cases taking into account individual features of athletes.
- Kinesio taping is often reported to lack its bio mechanical potential for long term periods, and chronic conditions in particular. This can be a physical implication regarding the material or design of the tape as well as absence of a more sophisticated methodology for its clinical use, and the current study does not reflect on that aspect.
- The tape conveys a strong effect of placebo that can be one of the primary reasons for biased study outcomes and statistical insignificances. Consequently, a different research design is recommended for a further study of the tape’s appliance to the cases of sprained or unstable ankle joints.