This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of Kinesio tape (KT) on lower limb muscle activation pattern in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) during walking.
A parallel-group randomized controlled trial.
University laboratory setting.
Twenty-five children with DCD were randomly allocated to the KT group (mean age = 7.97 years) and 24 to the control group (mean age = 8.04 years).
KT group received KT application to the quadriceps and gastrocnemius muscles whereas the control group received no intervention.
Peak muscle activation (in percentage of maximal voluntary isometric contraction [%MVIC]) in the lower limbs during gait was measured by means of surface electromyography, electrogoniometry, and foot contact switches.
Gastrocnemius medialis activation during mid stance (23.46%MVIC, 95% CI = -32.53, -14.39) and late stance phases (3.25%MVIC, 95% CI = -5.67, -0.81) of gait increased after the application of KT in the KT group compared to baseline values. The KT group demonstrated 26.87%MVIC (95% CI = 26.87, 7.11) higher gastrocnemius medialis muscle peak activation during mid stance phase at post-test when compared with the control group. Moreover, gastrocnemius medialis and biceps femoris muscle peak activation during loading response decreased by 8.36%MVIC (95% CI = 2.71, 14.02) and 3.54%MVIC (95% CI = 1.08, 6.01), respectively, in the control group overtime.
The application of KT on children with DCD had an increased gastrocnemius medialis muscle activation during stance phase. KT could be incorporated into gait re-education programmes to facilitate muscle contraction in these children.