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Background Taping is often used to counter the proprioceptive deficit after joint injury such as ankle sprain. However, the effect of taping on proprioceptive acuity at the ankle is unclear, with conflicting findings. Hypothesis Application of tape improves detection of inversion and eversion movements at the ankle. Study Design Controlled laboratory study. Methods The 70% threshold for movement detection was measured in 16 participants with recurrent ankle sprain under 2 conditions: with the ankle taped or untaped. The threshold for movement detection was examined at 3 velocities (0.1 deg/s, 0.5 deg/s, and 2.5 deg/s) and in 2 directions (inversion and eversion). Results Application of tape significantly decreased the ability to detect movements at the ankle (P <. 023). For example, at 0.5 deg/s, the 70% detection threshold was 3.40° ± 1.05° in inversion and 3.49° ± 1.15° in eversion at the untaped ankle, and 4.02° ± 0.86° in inversion and 4.04° ± 0.89° in eversion at the taped ankle. Conclusion Taping the ankle decreased the ability to detect movement in the inversion-eversion plane in participants with recurrent ankle sprain. Clinical Relevance The findings suggest that the efficacy of taping is unlikely to be explained by an enhanced ability to detect inversion or eversion movements. However, because it has been found effective in reducing the incidence of ankle sprain, clinicians should continue taping to reduce the likelihood of resprain.

Original publication




Journal article


The American Journal of Sports Medicine


SAGE Publications

Publication Date





371 - 375