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Does ankle tape improve proprioception acuity immediately after application and following a netball session? A randomised controlled trial

Erin Smyth, Gordon Waddington, Jeremy Witchalls, Phillip Newman, Juanita Weissensteiner, Steven Hughes, Theo Niyonsenga, Michael Drew
Physical Therapy in Sport 2020 December 13, 48: 20-25

OBJECTIVES: To assess whether ankle tape applied by a Sport and Exercise Physiotherapist (SEP) or self-applied by the athlete results in a change in proprioception and whether it is maintained during a netball session.

DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial.

SETTING: Australian Institute of Sport.

PARTICIPANTS: 53 pre-elite netball athletes.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Athlete proprioception was assessed using the Active Movement Extent Discrimination Apparatus (AMEDA) on four occasions for each taping condition: 1) pre-tape, 2) post-tape, 3) post-netball & 4) post-netball no-tape.

RESULTS: Mixed effect linear models were used for analysis. A significant increase in proprioception was observed when self-tape: 0.022 (95% CI: [-0.000 - 0.044], p = 0.05), and SEP tape: 0.034 (95% CI: [0.012-0.055], p < 0.01), were initially applied. These improvements were maintained during a netball session for both, self-taping: 0.01 (95% CI: [-0.01 - 0.02], p = 0.45) and SEP-taping: <0.01 (95% CI: [-0.02 - 0.01], p = 0.56). Results also indicate there was no significant difference between taping conditions (β = -0.001, 95% CI: [-0.02 - 0.02], p = 0.90).

CONCLUSIONS: Proprioception improves and is maintained during a netball session with either SEP or self-applied taping.

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