Dr. Kenzo Kase’s Kinesio Taping Technique has been successfully used on humans in competitive sports and in rehabilitation for many years now. More recently, it has been discovered for use on horses, and there is currently a true hype about equine Kinesio Taping. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of Kinesio Taping on the trajectory of the forelimb and the muscle activity of the M. brachiocephalicus and the M. extensor carpi radialis in horses. 21 horses and ponies of different races (body weight: 496±117 kg), genders (8 mares, 10 geldings and 3 stallions) and ages (14.9±6.9 years old) were analysed without Kinesio Tape (“no Tape”), with Kinesio Tape (muscle facilitation application on both muscles of both sides, “with Tape”) and immediately after Kinesio Taping (“post Tape”) through kinematic motion analysis and surface electromyography during walk (speed: 1.5±0.1 m/s) and trot (speed: 3.1±0.3 m/s) on a treadmill. The results of the surface electromyography (maximum muscle activity in mV during walk and trot) and the kinematic motion analysis (maximum stride length and maximum step height of the forelimbs in mm during walk and trot) showed that there were no significant differences between "no Tape", "with Tape" and "post Tape". In conclusion, Kinesio Taping on the M. brachiocephalicus and the M. extensor carpi radialis does not affect – neither positively nor negatively – the trajectory of the forelimb or the muscle activity of the M. brachiocephalicus and the M. extensor carpi radialis in horses.Additional research on horses is needed before any conclusive statement can be made with regard to the recommended use of Kinesio Taping and its effects on muscle strength or athletic performance. Likewise, further examination of horses is required in order to explore the physiological and therapeutic effectiveness of the Kinesio Taping Technique for relieving pain, improving blood and lymph flow, increasing proprioception, realigning fascial tissue function and relieving muscle spasms. Furthermore, this study demonstrated that the gait (walk and trot) has a significant impact on the amount of muscle activity, the stride length and the step height. During trot the muscle activity of the M. brachiocephalicus and the extensor carpi radialis, the stride length and the step height increased significantly.
Publication(s) resulting from University thesis:
Zellner, A; Bockstahler, B; Peham, C
(2017): The effects of Kinesio Taping on the trajectory of the forelimb and the muscle activity of the Musculus brachiocephalicus and the Musculus extensor carpi radialis in horses.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(11):e0186371