Kinesio Tape for Achilles Tendon Taping (ATT)

tKinesio Tape for Achilles Tendon Taping (ATT)

Achilles tendinosis is a condition we are familiar with treating amongst athletes at Bodyharmonix. The tendon is a wide hunk of collagen fibres which is susceptible to acute tears and tedinosis. Running, jumping sports and training are characteristics of abrupt changes in muscle lengthening and contraction.

Out therapists personalise treatment programs for all our clients. This includes for Achilles tendinosis. Achilles Tendon Taping helps to lift the skin and maintains flexibility of the ankle joint. As well as relieving pain, Kinesio tape [link] improves circulation to the area, which removes toxins building up in the lymph and stimulates healing processes.

Achilles Tendinosis Case Study

The following post was informed by an empirical case study that investigated the utility of Kinesio tape for Achilles tendinosis; Lee, J. & Yoo, W. (2011). Treatment of chronic Achilles tendon pain by Kinesio taping in an amateur badminton player. Physical Therapy in Sport xxx, 1-5. doi:10.1016/j.ptsp.2011.07.002

Purpose of Kinesio Tape

The goal was to assess the usefulness of Kinesio tape for 5 weeks on Achilles tendon pain. The 22yo badminton player who was the focus of the case study was experiencing, Achilles tendinosis after a jump and poor landing on his dominant leg during a game of badminton. He had severe pain with dorsiflexion and plantar flexion. Sitting on his knees was not possible, nor was playing badminton or soccer.

 

In the evaluation, they found tendon thickness in his dominant leg (due to the increase in ground substance); 0.42cm as compared to 0.38cm of his left Achilles tendon. Active dorsi flexion (ADF) and active plantar flexion (APF) were 15° and 20° respectively, indicating restricted movement due to pain with rotation that extended further.

Measuring Pain Levels

The Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment-Achilles Questionnaire (VISA-A; Robinson, Cook, Purdam, Visentini, Maffulli, Taunton, & Khan, 2001) was used to measure the intensity of pain, level of function and level of activity of the participant’s Achilles tendon injury. Whilst the self-administered questionnaire it is not a diagnostic tool, the VISA-A is a reliable and valid tool for assessing Achilles tendinopathy. The questionnaire comprises of 8 questions; the first seven questions are scored out of 10 while the eighth question is scored out of 30. The first six questions use a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) to measure responses, and the final two questions are categorical ratings. Total scores on the questionnaire range from 0 to 100. Higher scores indicate no pain whatsoever and complete functioning of the ankle joint. The participant in Lee and Yoo’s study had a total score of 64.

You can the Bodyharmonix Pain Indicator Scale to share your experience.

The young man was also measured for load-induced pain, using a numeric rating scale of 0 = no pain to 10 = worst imaginable pain. His score was 6. The Pressure- pain threshold is an evaluation using an algometer, evaluating the most tender point of his Achilles tendon. His pain experiences were at 0.8kg.

Achilles Tendon Taping Method

The Achilles tendon taping (ATT) is a method of applying kinesio tape. You apply it six times a week at an average of 10 hours at a time and during this time, no therapeutic training or exercise is done.

After 1 week, improvements were found in terms of increased ankle ROM and a reduction in pain scores. His ADF and APF angles increased their ROM to 20° and 40° respectively. The participant’s score on the VISA-A increased to 72, his load-bearing pain score was reduced to 2, and his pain threshold increased to 3.5kg.

 

After a fortnight, his VISA-A score increases to 86, and load-induced pain reduces to 0, with his pain threshold increasing to 8kg. At three weeks, the participant’s APF angle increased to 45° and his pain threshold rose to 9kg. Within a month of Kinesio tape intervention the athlete’s pain threshold was at 10kg.

 

After 5 weeks of ATT treatment the participant’s tendon thickness had lessened to 0.37, less than that of his left Achilles tendon. His ADF and APF angles for ROM remained at 20° and 45° respectively. The participant found that he could sit on his knees once again after the treatment. The final scoring of the VISA-A was 95, and load-induced pain threshold was 0. Additionally, he felt no pain at 10kg in the pain-threshold test. Ultimately, the athlete returned to playing badminton and soccer, pain free.

Final Evaluation for (ATT)

The concluded was that the Kinesio tape creates tension during ankle movement. This ankle movement helped to create tension in the soft tissue structures. The tension helped to stimulate pain inhibitory mechanisms by delivering afferent activation to nerve fibres which dull nociceptors. At the end of the study the participant’s fear of pain during movement of the ankle joint is lessened by way of sensory-feedback. In turn, this increased his ROM.  

 

References:

Robinson, J. M., Cook, J. L., Purdam, C., Visentini, P. J., Ross, J., Maffulli, N., Taunton, J. E., & Khan, K.

  1. [for the Victorian Institute of Sport Tendon Study Group]. (2001). The VISA-A questionnaire: A

valid and reliable index of the clinical severity of Achilles tendinopathy. British Journal of Sports

 Medicine, 35, 335-341.

Charmayne Paul, Bodyharmonix Associate, of Psych and Stats Tutor ~ Chart your course to success~

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