What is the role of ankle taping in the management of ankle sprains?

Updated: Jan 14, 2019
  • Author: Craig C Young, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Answer

Ankle taping can increase ankle stability by at least 2 mechanisms: limitation of motion and proprioception. [63] For a single treatment, ankle taping is less expensive than either a brace or an athletic shoe. Initially, the effectiveness of ankle taping is similar to bracing. [64, 65] However, studies have demonstrated a significant loss of effectiveness after 24 minutes of activity [66] ; moreover, ankle taping becomes virtually ineffective after periods as short as 40 minutes. [67] The effect of taping on individuals with chronic ankle instability is relatively small. [68]

The effectiveness of ankle taping is highly dependent on the expertise of the individual who performs the taping. Although the primary effect is improved proprioceptive function, taping may also cause variable effects on motor performance. Ankle taping has the potential to either enhance or hinder the function of the peroneal muscles, depending on the location and technique with which the ankle was taped. Thus, having an experienced, certified athletic trainer (ATC) or physical therapist do the taping usually produces optimal results. In general, athletes without easy access to an ATC or physical therapist may find an ankle brace easier to use and more effective.

To see complete information on Ankle Taping and Bracing, please go to the main article by clicking here.


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