• W. Alt
  • H. Loher
  • A. Gollhofer
  • C. Scheuffelen


INTRODUCTION: . Athletes and coaches in different sport disciplines use preventive adhesive tape or bandages in order to avoid ankle sprains since Paul Beiersdorf has invented tape about 100 years ago. Many authors tried to evaluate the main effects of taping in respect to its mechanical support to the ankle joint and its preventive effect concerning injuries in high risk sports like basketball, football, athletics or gymnastics. Clinical studies have shown that ankle taping reduces the risk of injury although it has been demonstrated that the mechanical support does decrease even after a few minutes of practise. The aim of the study was to investigate the mechanical as well as the neuromuscular influence of different tape materials and techniques before and after exercise. Method: 12 subjects underwent different trials in a randomized order with two materials (B,C) and two taping techniques (D,E) and without tape (A). This sense of exercises were used to stress the ankle: 5 Drop jumps (36 cm Height) 10 minutes running (tread mill) 3 minutes jumping using a special “jump-device” with slope surfaces ( increased inversion/eversion and dorsal/plantar flexion during the landing phase). The course was performed two times. The main test was the simulated ankle inversion injury by using a special tilt device to apply randomized ankle movements (300 inversion + 150 Plantarflexion) while the subject is standing on the tilt platform. Magnitude and velocity of ankle joint motion was recorded from 2axial goniometers (Penny&Giles). EMG activity was measured from the mm. peroneus 1., tibialis a., gastrocnemius and vastus medialis. Skin temperature alterations beneath the adhesive tape were recorded after each exercise by thermocouples with an accuracy of 0.1 K. RESULTS: Amplitude and velocity (relative to value without tape) of simulated inversion injury was initially reduced by all tapes significantly: Inversion angle relativ to the trial without tapeJA): If no tape was used then EMG -activity during simulation was reduced up to 12% after 20 minutes of exercise. If the ankle was taped -the EMG reduction after 20 minutes was at a lower level ( 5%). Skin temperature under the tape increased significantly compared to untaped ankle. DISCUSSION: The preventive effect of adhesive taping is achieved at the intitial exercise phase by the mechanical stabilization properties of the material. In the later exercise phase (when the mechanical support decreases) the risc of injury could be reduced by the proprioceptive effect, which can be concluded by the increased EMG-activities. REFERENCES: Fumich, R. M., et al. The measured effect of taping on combined foot and ankle motion before and after exercise. AMJSM, 9(1981):165-170.