Effect of Taping on Actual and Perceived Dynamic Postural Stability in Persons With Chronic Ankle Instability Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether 2 different mechanisms of ankle joint taping ([1] lateral subtalar sling or [2] fibular repositioning) can enhance actual and perceived dynamic postural stability in participants with chronic ankle instability (CAI). DESIGN: Laboratory-based repeated-measures study. SETTING: University biomechanics laboratory. PARTICIPANTS: Participants (n=16) with CAI. INTERVENTIONS: Participants performed the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) under 3 different conditions: (1) no tape, (2) lateral subtalar sling taping and (3) fibular repositioning taping. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Reach distances in the anterior, posteromedial, and posterolateral directions on the SEBT. Participants' perceptions of stability, confidence, and reassurance when performing the SEBT under 2 different taping conditions. RESULTS: Taping did not improve reach distance on the SEBT (P>.05). Feelings of confidence increased for 56% of participants (P=.002) under both tape conditions. Feelings of stability increased for 87.5% of participants (P<.001) using condition 2 (lateral subtalar sling taping) and 75% of participants (P=.001) using condition 3 (fibular repositioning taping). Feelings of reassurance increased for 68.75% of participants (P=.001) using condition 2 (lateral subtalar sling taping) and 50% of participants (P=.005) using condition 3 (fibular repositioning taping). CONCLUSIONS: No significant change in dynamic postural stability was observed after application of either taping mechanism; however, participants' perceptions of confidence, stability, and reassurance were significantly improved. Further research is necessary to fully elucidate the exact mechanisms by which taping may help reduce the incidence of repeated injury in subjects with CAI.

publication date

  • September 2010