Itching to get your hands on some new research? Don’t freak out… but we have a ton of research (55 studies, to be exact) for you to sink your teeth into. The first quarter of 2017 was overflowing with impactful clinical insights on Performance Health products, and we’re excited to share our favorites with you. Sit down, buckle up and open your mind to all of the new possibilities!

Here’s a breakdown of the research you’ll find below:

  • 23 kinesiology tape, taping techniques and therapeutic taping studies
  • 9 myofascial and manual therapies studies
  • 2 exercise prescription studies
  • 6 geriatrics and special populations studies
  • 1 sports training study
  • 1 shoulder study
  • 7 knee and hip studies
  • 6 foot and ankle studies

Happy reading!

Kinesiology Tape, Taping Techniques and Therapeutic Taping

Tantawy SA, Kamel DM. The effect of kinesio taping with exercise compared with exercise alone on pain, range of motion, and disability of the shoulder in postmastectomy females: a randomized control trial. J Phys Ther Sci. 2016 Dec;28(12):3300-3305.

Kinesiology tape in addition to physical therapy was more effective at improving shoulder pain, disability, and motion in post mastectomy patients.

Dilek B et al. Kinesio taping in patients with lateral epicondylitis. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2016 Nov 21;29(4):853-858.

In this non-randomized, non-controlled clinical trial, 31 patients with tennis elbow had improvements in pain, strength and functional status with kinesiology tape alone.

S Halim-Kertanegara et al. The effect of ankle taping on functional performance in participants with functional ankle instability. Phys Ther Sport. 2017 Jan;23:162-167.

Rigid strapping tape to support chronic ankle instability can improve confidence and self efficacy in dynamic tasks, but has little to no effect on functional performance.

S Vercelli et al. The effects of kinesio taping on the color intensity of superficial skin hematomas: A pilot study. Phys Ther Sport. 2017 Jan;23:156-161.

This pilot study found that kinesiology tape does not improve resolution of bruising after surgery, regardless of the amount of tension applied, suggesting convolutions in tape are not necessarily important to the mechanism of action of kinesiology tape.

E Mutlu et al. Does Kinesio Taping of the Knee Improve Pain and Functionality in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis?: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2017 Jan;96(1):25-33.

Patients with knee osteoarthritis have significant decrease in pain for at least one month after 3 application of kinesiology tape, compared to placebo tape; but there is no effect on strength or range of motion.

T Fukui et al. The effects of new taping methods designed to increase muscle strength. J Phys Ther Sci. 2017 Jan;29(1):70-74.

The authors found that applying kinesiology tape in the direction of muscle contraction (insertion to origin) resulted in immediate increases in strength in healthy subjects, theoretically by stretching the skin in the direction of motion.

Y Bae et al. Effects of spiral taping on proprioception in subjects with unilateral functional ankle instability. J Phys Ther Sci. 2017 Jan;29(1):106-108.

Kinesiology tape applied in a ‘cross-hatch’ pattern on the front of the ankle improved plantarflexion and inversion joint angle reproduction in subjects with ankle instability.

J de Jesus et al. The effects of varied tensions of kinesiology taping on quadriceps strength and lower limb function. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2017 Feb;12(1):85-93.

In healthy individuals, kinesiology tape with or without various tensions (50, 75, 100% tension) did not improve quadriceps strength or leg functional tests immediately or up to 5 days of application.

K Ho et al. Effects of Patellofemoral Taping on Patellofemoral Joint Alignment and Contact Area During Weight Bearing. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2017 Feb;47(2):115-123.

In patients with patellofemoral pain, neither kinesiology tape nor rigid strapping tape changed joint alignment or patellofemoral contact area; however, kinesiology taping did significantly decrease anterior knee pain during a step-down task by 35%.

R Bravi, et al. Effect of Direction and Tension of Kinesio Taping Application on Sensorimotor Coordination. Int J Sports Med. 2016 Oct;37(11):909-14.

Kinesiology tape applied to healthy individuals can improve sensorimotor coordination regardless of the tension or direction of application. This is likely due to activation of cutaneous mechanoreceptors.

KA Keenan et al. Kinesiology taping does not alter shoulder strength, shoulder proprioception, or scapular kinematics in healthy, physically active subjects and subjects with Subacromial Impingement Syndrome. Phys Ther Sport. 2017 Mar;24:60-66

Kinesiology tape did not improve strength, proprioception, or kinematics in subjects with shoulder impingement or healthy individuals.

K Kim et al. Effects of Kinesio taping in patients with quadriceps inhibition: A randomized, single-blinded study. Phys Ther Sport. 2017 Mar;24:67-73.

Kinesiology tape was applied to subjects with an inhibited quadriceps; there was no improvement in inhibition 20 minutes or 24-48 hours after taping.

A Bdaiwi et al. The Effects of Rigid Scapular Taping on Acromiohumeral Distance in Healthy Shoulders: An Observational Study. J Sport Rehabil. 2017 Jan;26(1):51-56.

Rigid scapular taping increased subacromial space in healthy shoulders at 60° abduction.

T Ekiz et al. Effects of Kinesio Tape application to quadriceps muscles on isokinetic muscle strength, gait, and functional parameters in patients with stroke. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2015;52(3):323-31.

Kinesiology tape applied to the quadriceps resulted in more strength gains in stroke patients compared to patients not using tape; however, there were not differences in functional improvements (both groups significantly improved).

J Matheus et al. Comparison of the mechanical properties of therapeutic elastic tapes used in sports and clinical practice. Phys Ther Sport. 2017 Mar;24:74-78.

This study compared the tensile strength and adhesive properties of 5 different kinesiology tapes.

A Karahan et al. Effect of Kinesio taping on elbow muscle strength in healthy individuals: A randomized trial1. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2017;30(2):317-323.

Kinesiology tape does not increase triceps strength in healthy individuals.

Y Huang et al. Effects of Kinesio taping for stroke patients with hemiplegic shoulder pain: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. J Rehabil Med. 2017 Mar 6;49(3):208-215.

In this pilot randomized, controlled 3-week trial, kinesiology tape significantly improved shoulder pain and range of motion compared to sham tape.

C Gursen et al. Effects of exercise and Kinesio taping on abdominal recovery in women with cesarean section: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2016 Mar;293(3):557-65.

Kinesiology tape combined with stabilization exercise was more effective than exercise alone at improving abdominal strength and endurance, pain, and disability after cesarean section.

B Keles et al. Kinesio Taping in patients with lumbar disc herniation: A randomised, controlled, double-blind study. Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2016 Nov 11.

In this randomized controlled trial, patients with herniated lumbar discs received either kinesiology tape or placebo tape for 3 weeks with minimal exercise instruction. Both groups improved at 12 weeks, and the kinesiology tape group reported taking less medication than the placebo group.

A Imperatori et al. Chest pain control with kinesiology taping after lobectomy for lung cancer: initial results of a randomized placebo-controlled study. Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2016 Aug;23(2):223-30.

Kinesiology tape significantly reduced chest pain after a lobectomy in lung cancer patients compared to placebo.

H Shih et al. Effects of Kinesio taping and exercise on forward head posture. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2017 Mar 3.

Both kinesiology tape and exercise can improve forward head posture after a 5 week program; exercise produces better results than taping.

Z Long et al. Optimizing ankle performance when taped: Effects of kinesiology and athletic taping on proprioception in full weight-bearing stance. J Sci Med Sport. 2017 Mar;20(3):236-240.

Both kinesiology tape and athletic tape can increase sensory input in subjects with reduced proprioception (discrimination), but may ‘over-amplify’ input in normal individuals. Perceived comfort (but not perceived support) is correlated with proprioceptive performance. Therefore, testing proprioceptive benefits of kinesiology taping in healthy subjects with normal proprioception is not appropriate.

G Yazici et al. Does correcting position and increasing sensorial input of the foot and ankle with Kinesio Taping improve balance in stroke patients? NeuroRehabilitation. 2015;36(3):345-53.

Kinesiology tape of the lower leg improved balance in stroke patients.

Myofascial and Massage Therapies

D DeBruyne et al. Self-Mobilization Using a Foam Roller Versus a Roller Massager: Which Is More Effective for Increasing Hamstrings Flexibility? J Sport Rehabil. 2017 Jan;26(1):94-100.

The authors of this literature review suggest that a roller massager is better than foam rolling for improving hamstring flexibility, while both are as effective as static stretching. In addition, longer treatment can improve flexibility gains.

F Krause et al. Acute effects of foam rolling on passive tissue stiffness and fascial sliding: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2017 Mar 9;18(1):114.

This protocol describes a study that will compare soft tissue mobility between foam rolling and passive stretching of the quadriceps.

E Monteiro et al. Acute effects of different self-massage volumes on the FMS™ overhead deep squat performance. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2017 Feb;12(1):94-104.

At least 90 seconds of foam rolling massage of the lateral trunk, plantar fascia, and lateral thigh improves the overhead deep squat movement pattern.

E Monteiro et al. Maximum repetition performance after different antagonist foam rolling volumes in the inter-set rest period. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2017 Feb;12(1):76-84.

Prolonged foam rolling (60 and 120 seconds) of the antagonist hamstring muscles reduced quadriceps muscular endurance; the authors suggest not performing hamstring foam rolling between sets of knee extension.

J Coviello et al. Short-term effects of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization on pain free range of motion in a weightlifter with subacromial pain syndrome. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2017 Feb;12(1):144-154.

This case report describes the use of IASTM in a weight-lifter with shoulder pain.

A Morales et al. Effects of warm-up on hamstring muscles stiffness: Cycling vs foam rolling. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2017 Jan 26.

Active warm up (cycling) reduces muscle soreness more than passive foam rolling; the authors suggested rolling before active warm up may potentially maximize benefits.

N Casanova et al. Effects of roller massager on muscle recovery after exercise-induced muscle damage. J Sports Sci. 2017 Ahead of print.

TheraBand roller massager applied immediately after exercise-induced muscle damage to the calf muscles had no effect on markers of muscle recovery, but did decrease muscle soreness.

C Crawford et al. The Impact of Massage Therapy on Function in Pain Populations-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials: Part I, Patients Experiencing Pain in the General Population. Pain Med. 2016 17:1353-75.

This meta-analysis found that massage can be effective at reducing pain compared to no treatment, but it offers little compared to sham or active comparison treatments; further research is recommended.

T Kopec et al. Influence of Dynamic Stretching and Foam Rolling on Vertical Jump. Athletic Training and Sports Health Care. 2017 Jan;9(1):33-38.

This study compared 30 seconds of foam rolling and 30 seconds of dynamic stretching to calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps on vertical jump performance in young healthy adults; there was no significant difference in performance compared to control.

Exercise Prescription

S Ostrowski et al. Effect of an Unstable Load on Primary and Stabilizing Muscles During the Bench Press. J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Feb;31(2):430-434.

Performing a bench press exercise with unstable load (weights suspended by elastic bands) produces more activation of stabilizing muscles than stable loads of higher resistance.

W Machado et al. Myoeletric Activity of the Quadriceps During Leg Press Exercise Performed With Differing Techniques. J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Feb;31(2):422-429.

Performing a 45 degree leg press at 70%10RM with a miniball between the knees significantly increases VMO and VM:VL ratio; performing the exercise with a looped band around the knees significantly increases rectus femoris activation.

Geriatrics and Special Populations

R Bookwala et al. Early strength training using theraband exercises for phase-1 cardiac rehabilitation in a patient with a fractured femur: a case report. Bulletin of Faculty of Physical Therapy. 2017. 21:94-96.

This case report of Phase I cardiac rehabilitation of a patient limited to upper extremity exercise due to a fractured femur. Light (yellow and red) TheraBand resisted exercises were performed to fatigue in the upper extremities without adverse events.

E Moe et al. Exercise Interventions for Prostate Cancer Survivors Receiving Hormone Therapy: Systematic Review. Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.2017 Jan;2(1):1-9.

This systematic review found exercise programs for prostate cancer survivors are effective for improving fitness, function, and quality of life, but more cost-effective and scalable interventions are needed.

M Jakobsen et al. Factors affecting pain relief in response to physical exercise interventions among healthcare workers. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2016 Ahead of Print

Female healthcare workers with musculoskeletal pain can significantly reduce their pain after a 10 week exercise program including TheraBand elastic bands. Greater reduction in pain was seen if they exercised in the workplace, as compared to at home; adherence was also associated with better outcomes.

Y Chigira et al. Effects of exercise therapy during dialysis for elderly patients undergoing maintenance dialysis. J Phys Ther Sci. 2017 Jan;29(1):20-23.

A small group of elderly renal failure patients performed exercises (including TheraBand® resistance) while receiving dialysis for 3 months. They improved significantly in their rating of quality of life; measurements of lower body strength and function improved, but not significantly.

I Dohrn et al. Short- and Long-Term Effects of Balance Training on Physical Activity in Older Adults With Osteoporosis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2017 Apr/Jun;40(2):102-111.

A 12-week balance training program including TheraBand resistance exercises improved physical activity levels in older adults with osteoporosis, but did not improve quality of life, gait, balance, or fall outcomes at 15 month follow-up.

I Kokic et al. Effect of therapeutic exercises on pregnancy-related low back pain and pelvic girdle pain: Secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial. J Rehabil Med. 2017 Mar 6;49(3):251-257.

An exercise program including TheraBand resistance reduced the severity of lumbopelvic pain and disability in pregnancy compared to a control group.

Sports Training

Y Negra et al. Effects of Plyometric Training on Physical Fitness in Prepuberal Soccer Athletes. Int J Sports Med. 2017 Mar 17.

Adolescent soccer athletes (~12 years old) can improve their jump, speed, dynamic balance and agility performing plyometric jumping exercises. Performing plyometric exercises on a foam pad provides additional benefits in increasing static balance.


EA Reijneveld et al. Clinical outcomes of a scapular-focused treatment in patients with subacromial pain syndrome: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med. 2017 Mar;51(5):436-441.

This systematic review on shoulder pain included studies on scapular-focused treatment including elastic resistance and taping, suggesting some support for using these therapies in patients with subacromial pain.

Knee and Hip

A Rosen et al. Patellar tendon straps decrease pre-landing quadriceps activation in males with patellar tendinopathy. Phys Ther Sport. 2017 Mar;24:13-19.

Males with patellar tendinopathy had lower activation of the vastus lateralis prior to landing from a drop jump while wearing a patella tendon strap.

Y Pua et al. Association between rehabilitation attendance and physical function following discharge after total knee arthroplasty: prospective cohort study. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2017 Apr;25(4):462-469.

In a large follow-up of total knee replacement patients, those attending rehabilitation in addition to performing a home program including TheraBand resistance exercises had better functional outcome than those less compliant with rehab.

L Brousseau et al. The Ottawa panel clinical practice guidelines for the management of knee osteoarthritis. Part two: Strengthening exercise programs. Clin Rehabil. 2017 Feb 1:269215517691084.

This Ottawa Panel paper concluded that strengthening exercises (including elastic resistance training) could reduce pain and improve function and quality of life in knee osteoarthritis patients.

J Lee et al. Foot exercise and taping in patients with patellofemoral pain and pronated foot. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2017 Jan;21(1):216-222.

Application of kinesiology tape to the foot and ankle did not improve activation of foot or knee muscles during a step-down task in patients with patellofemoral pain and foot pronation.

K Bennell et al. Effectiveness of an Internet-Delivered Exercise and Pain-Coping Skills Training Intervention for Persons With Chronic Knee Pain: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2017 Feb 21.

A 3 month Internet-delivered home exercise program including TheraBand elastic bands significantly reduced pain and improved function in patients with chronic knee pain for at least 6 months after the program.

S Heywood et al. Effectiveness of Aquatic Exercise in Improving Lower Limb Strength in Musculoskeletal Conditions: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2017 Jan;98(1):173-186.

This meta-analysis found that aquatic exercise does not increase leg strength in patients with musculo-skeletal conditions, likely due to insufficient resistance underwater.

D Kang et al. The effect of hip joint exercise using an elastic band on dynamic balance, agility and flexibility in healthy subjects: a randomized controlled trial. Phys Ther Rehabil Sci. 2017 Jan;5(4):198-204.

A 4-week hip strengthening program using TheraBand for either resisted hip flexion or hip abduction improves function and flexibility in young healthy adults.

Foot and Ankle

E Kim et al. Effects of Neuromuscular Training on the Rear-foot Angle Kinematics in Elite Women Field Hockey Players with Chronic Ankle Instability. J Sports Sci Med. 2017 Mar 1;16(1):137-146.

A 6-week neuromuscular training program including TheraBand exercise bands improved ankle kinematics in female field hockey players with chronic ankle instability up to 24 weeks.

N Klem et al. Effect of External Ankle Support on Ankle and Knee Biomechanics During the Cutting Maneuver in Basketball Players. Am J Sports Med. 2017 Mar;45(3):685-691.

The Active Ankle T2 brace significantly reduced ankle inversion compared to no brace during a cutting maneuver in female basketball player, and reduced ankle and knee joint forces compared to a lace-up brace. The authors also noted changes in knee biomechanics with both types of braces.

M Cain et al. Effects of a 4-Week Biomechanical Ankle Platform System Protocol on Balance in High School Athletes With Chronic Ankle Instability. J Sport Rehabil. 2017 Jan;26(1):1-7.

A 4-week balance board exercise program improved balance in high school athletes with chronic ankle instability

K Kosik et al. Therapeutic interventions for improving self-reported function in patients with chronic ankle instability: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med. 2017 Jan;51(2):105-112.

This systematic review concluded that balance training is effective at improving function in patients with chronic ankle instability, while strengthening alone may not.

P Gribble et al. Evidence review for the 2016 International Ankle Consortium consensus statement on the prevalence, impact and long-term consequences of lateral ankle sprains. Br J Sports Med. 2016 Dec;50(24):1496-1505.

This article reviews the high prevalence and impact of ankle sprains, noting chronic ankle instability is associated with decreased physical activity levels and an increase in ankle osteoarthritis.

C Doherty et al. Treatment and prevention of acute and recurrent ankle sprain: an overview of systematic reviews with meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2017 Jan;51(2):113-125

This mega-review of 46 papers on ankle sprain management and prevention of recurrence found strong evidence that supports ankle bracing to reduce recurrence by 62%, while moderate evidence supports neuromuscular exercise including wobble boards to reduces recurrence by 41%.

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