The effect of low-dye taping on rearfoot motion and plantar pressure during the stance phase of gait

Background: Low-dye (LD) taping is commonly used to reduce rearfoot pronation. No studies have previously investigated the effectiveness of LD taping using both plantar pressure distribution (F-Scan) and 3-D (CODA) analysis of rearfoot motion.

Methods: 20 healthy subjects with a navicular drop test exceeding 10 mm participated in the study. T tests were used to determine whether significant (p < 0.05) differences in plantar pressure and rearfoot motion occurred with LD taping.

Results: LD taping resulted in statistically significant increases in peak plantar pressure in the lateral midfoot (p = 0.000), along with significant decreases in pressure in the medial forefoot (p = 0.014), and the medial (p = 0.000) and lateral hindfoot (p = 0.007). No significant changes occurred in the medial midfoot (p = 0.794) or lateral forefoot (p = 0.654). When assessed using motion analysis, taping resulted in a statistically significant decrease in rearfoot pronation (p = 0.006), supination (p = 0.025) and total rearfoot range of motion (p = 0.000). The mean rearfoot position during stance was not significantly different however (p = 0.188).

Conclusion: LD taping is associated with alterations in peak plantar pressure in the midfoot and forefoot that indicate reduced pronation with LD taping. However, LD taping appears to reduce both pronation and supination in the rearfoot, rather than simply reducing pronation, when assessed using 3D motion analysis. Therefore, it would appear that LD taping does indeed reduce pronation, by restricting rearfoot motion in general, rather than pronation specifically. The degree of change observed with LD taping was however very small, and further research is needed to clarify the clinical significance of these initial findings.

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