Nearly 70% of university level ballet and modern dancers report ankle sprains, and 75% have been identified as having chronic ankle instability (CAI). Yet, unlike collegiate football or basketball players, half do not receive medical care for these injuries. Why not? White ankle tape, braces, and boots do not help a dancer improve live performance.
In the poster, The Effect of Kinesiology Tape on Balance in Dancers With Ankle Instability,1 Weber State student athletic trainer Byrnadeen Farraye and colleagues evaluated the use of Kinesiology Tape or K-Tape in this population as a performance enabling treatment.
The research team collected data regarding static and dynamic balance from 14 dancers (10 female, 4 male) at Weber State University—all of whom had documented ankle instability but were cleared to participate. The static balance task involved the dancers performing single-leg releve (or demi pointe) on a Force plate for 15 seconds. The dynamic balance task involved the participants performing the STAR excursion balance test (SEBT).
“Although the results of my study were not significantly different, we did see some trends that suggested the K-tape improved static balance,” Farraye said. “After the study was completed, participants claimed that they felt more stable in their everyday lives and during dance activities.”
“K-tape could be a possible avenue for dancers who want extra proprioceptive feedback during their ankle rehabilitation program,” Farraye said. “It didn’t hurt or disable the participants, therefore it could be beneficial.”
Valerie W. Herzog, EdD, LAT, ATC, graduate athletic training program director at Weber State, who mentored the research project, said athletic trainers are well-equipped to help dancers prevent and treat musculoskeletal injuries that they so commonly suffer, and chronic ankle instability is just one of their issues.
“We can’t simply put a large knee brace on a dancer like we use on football players. They wouldn’t be able to move like they need to and it would look very clunky on stage,” she said. “Kinesiotape holds promise in that it allows full ROM, can be applied so that it blends in with the skin and/or dancewear, and may provide some proprioceptive feedback to improve balance.”
Keith Loria is a freelance writer
Farraye B, Herzog V. The Effect of Kinesiology Tape on Balance in Dancers With Ankle
Cain MS, Goerger BM, Linens SW. A Randomized Controlled Trial Investigating the Effects of a 4-Week Ankle Rehabilitation Program on Static Balance Tasks in High School Athletes With Chronic Ankle Instability.
Powden CJ, Hoch JM, Jamali BE, Hoch MC. Effects of a Multimodal 4-Week Intervention on Range of Motion, Balance and Ankle Strength in Those With Chronic Ankle Instability.
Burcal CJ, Sandrey MA, Hubbard-Turner TJ, McKeon PO. Improving Balance in Patients with Chronic Ankle Instability: A Clinical Prediction Rule for Balance Training.
Joo-Sung K, Dong-Ho P, Chang-Sun K, et.al. Reactive Balance Following Acute Lateral Ankle Sprain.