The efficacy of taping on elbow proprioception in healthy individuals: A single-blinded randomized placebo-controlled study

Kacmaz K. S., ÜNVER B.

Journal of Hand Therapy, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jht.2024.02.014
  • Journal Name: Journal of Hand Therapy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CINAHL, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: Elbow, Joint position sense, Kinesio taping, Proprioception, Rehabilitation, Taping
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Taping stimulates the mechanoreceptors, increases sensory information to the central nervous system, and improves sensorimotor synchronization, resulting in improved motor control. However, the efficacy of taping on elbow proprioception is not clear. Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate the immediate effects of taping on elbow proprioception in healthy individuals. Study design: This study was a two-arm, parallel-group, randomized, controlled, single-blinded study with a sham application. Methods: Fifty six healthy adults were randomized 1:1 to kinesio taping (n = 27) or sham taping (n = 29). Active joint position sense error (JPSE) was used to quantify proprioception using a universal goniometer at three-time points: baseline (BS), immediately after taping (IA), and 30 minutes after taping (30MA), with the tape still in place at 70° and 110° of elbow flexion. Participants were blinded to group assignments. The Friedman analysis assessed differences between evaluations within groups, and the Mann-Whitney U test determined differences between groups. Results: The study was completed with 56 participants and there were no dropouts. No skin reaction or adverse effect was observed in the participants and no test trial was excluded. The baseline scores of the groups were similar (p > 0.05). A significant difference was detected in the study group after kinesio taping at 70° (MD = −1.22; CI = (−2.33: −0.10; p < 0.005; d = 0.653) and 110° of elbow flexion (MD = −1.34; CI = 2,47: −0,21; p < 0.005; d = 0.73). This statistically significant difference was observed even at the 30MA evaluations at 70° (p < 0.05). Also, there was a statistically insignificant tendency to decrease in JPSE of both groups at both degrees following taping. Conclusions: Elbow proprioception may be enhanced by kinesio taping, and this effect could last up to 30 minutes at 70° of elbow flexion. In contrast, sham taping did not produce such an improvement. Based on the differences in JPSE, kinesio taping proved more effective and had a longer-lasting impact than the sham application. The statistically insignificant tendency to decrease in JPSE may indicate that the 30-minute application period is inadequate to create a statistically significant effect on elbow proprioception. Longer usage periods can better reveal the effects of orthoses on proprioception.