The effect of gluteal taping on gait in ambulant adults with hemiplegia
Introduction Decreased hip extension in the paretic leg is a common impairment after stroke. Gluteal taping was introduced as a technique that helped in increasing hip extension of the paretic leg, and step length in the unaffected leg. The aim of this study was to further investigate the effect of gluteal taping on other temporal spatial and kinematic parameters using a 3D motion analysis system (Moven System). Methods The study was conducted in two phases. Phase 1 entailed examining the intra trial reliability of the Moven System, where eight subjects were recruited and tested twice at their normal pace of walking, and twice again at their maximum speed. Phase 2 involved studying the effect of gluteal taping on temporal spatial and kinematic parameters. Thirty subjects participated and were tested under three taping conditions (no tape, therapeutic tape, and placebo tape), while walking at their self selected walking speed. Intra-class correlation coefficient ICC determined around 95% confidence intervals was used to examine the intra trial reliability of the Moven System. Repeated measures-ANOVA was used to study the temporal spatial, and kinematic variables during the three taping conditions. Results The Moven showed moderate to excellent reliability in measuring the gait variables including temporal spatial parameters and sagittal kinematic parameters in addition to the lateral pelvic tilt. Taping caused significant increase in hip extension and reduction in knee flexion at terminal stance for the paretic leg. There was a trend toward better hip flexion at terminal stance, and a mild trend toward more planter flexion at terminal stance. Both treatment and placebo tapes caused an increase in the step lengths of either leg, and a significant increase in gait velocity and cadence. Conclusion Gluteal taping may be beneficial in producing important clinical effects post stroke, and can be used as an adjunct strategy during gait rehabilitation. Further research is needed to understand the mechanism of how taping produces effects, and to further explore its effect on kinetic and muscle activation variables.