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The influence of kinesiology tape colour on performance and corticomotor activity in healthy adults: a randomised crossover controlled trial

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Tags: fun, bad news

One article on PainSci cites Cavaleri 2018: Kinesio Taping Review

PainSci notes on Cavaleri 2018:

This is a completely negative test of the effect of kinesiology tape colour — which might just be the least surprising study result in the history of sports medicine. Dr. Clay Jones for ScienceBasedMedicine.org:

Nothing mattered. Tape color didn’t matter. Color preference didn’t matter. “Proper” placement of KT with tension didn’t matter. No effect on performance, strength, or function was found in any experimental round compared to the control round for any of the subjects. It was a solidly negative result that is in line with previous, and much better studies, showing that KT doesn’t have any specific benefit or much of a non-specific benefit either. And the effect of colored versus plain KT doesn’t deserve any ad hoc excuses.

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

Background: There exists conflicting evidence regarding the impact of kinesiology tape on performance and muscle function. One variable that may account for disparities in the findings of previous studies is the colour of the tape applied. Colour is hypothesised to influence sporting performance through modulation of arousal and aggression. However, few studies have investigated the influence of colour on products designed specifically to enhance athletic performance. Further, no studies have investigated the potential influence of colour on other drivers of performance, such as corticomotor activity and neuromuscular function. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the influence of kinesiology tape colour on athletic performance, knee extensor torque, and quadriceps neuromuscular function. Methods: Thirty two healthy participants were assessed under five conditions, applied in random order: (1) no kinesiology tape (control), (2) beige-coloured kinesiology tape applied with tension (sham A), (3) beige-coloured kinesiology tape applied with no tension (sham B), (4) red-coloured kinesiology tape applied with tension, and (5) blue-coloured kinesiology tape applied with tension. Athletic performance was assessed using a previously validated hop test, knee extensor torque was measured using an isokinetic dynamometer, and transcranial magnetic stimulation was utilised to provide insight into the neuromuscular functioning of the quadriceps musculature. Results: Kinesiology tape had no beneficial impact on lower limb performance or muscle strength in healthy adults. The colour of the tape did not influence athletic performance (F (4, 120) = 0.593, p = 0.669), quadriceps strength (F (4, 120) = 0.787, p = 0.536), or neuromuscular function (rectus femoris: F (2.661, 79.827) = 1.237, p = 0.301). Conclusion: This study found that kinesiology tape does not alter lower limb performance or muscle function in healthy adults, irrespective of the colour of the tape applied. Future research should seek to confirm these findings beyond the research setting, across a range of sports, and at a range of skill levels. Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry. ACTRN12616001506482. Prospectively registered on 01/11/2016.

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