Date of Award

August 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Naira Campbell-Kyureghyan

Committee Members

David Yu, Wilkistar A Otieno


Endurance, Kinesiology Tape, Knee, Muscle Activity, Muscle Fatigue, Muscle Oxygenation


Kinesiology Tape (KT) is an elastic athletic tape and is popular among athletes as it was claimed that it can to be worn for several days and is capable of preventing injuries, improving rehabilitation processes, improving muscle oxygenation levels, and enhancing muscle performance. The goal of this study was to determine if there was any potential enhancing effect of KT on joint endurance in healthy subjects, in particular with respect to time to fatigue (TTF), muscle oxygenation, and muscle activity in fatiguing knee flexion/extension exercise across sessions.

Fourteen healthy male subjects with no previous history of knee injury participated in this study. The study consisted of 8 sessions at 24-hour increments over 8 consecutive days. The first session, session 0, was set as a practice session and was excluded from analysis. Data collection started from session 1 and continued through session 7. Session 1 was set as the baseline session without KT. KT was placed on one knee (treatment knee) on session 2 and was kept in place for four sessions across 72 hours. The study observed the effect of immediate application and application durations up to 72 hours. KT was removed after session 5 (72 hours) to determine if there is any residual effect for the last 2 sessions (6 and 7). The other knee was kept as a control knee without KT to observe any potential learning effect across the 7 sessions.

Throughout the trials, TTF, number of cycles, cycle rate, bilateral muscle activity, and muscle oxygenation were recorded. To investigate the effect of application, each parameter was compared between pre-application (session 1) and application (session 2) in the treatment knee using paired-t test. A general linear model ANOVA was performed to determine the statistical significance of changes in the parameters across sessions for the treatment and control knees. The factor of subject was blocked in the analysis.

Results showed that there was no change in TTF or number of cycles from pre-application (session 1) to application session (session 2) in the treatment knee. No observed improvement in muscle oxygenation or muscle activity in either VL or VM was observed due to KT application.

During the application sessions there was a gradual increase in TTF and number of cycles in the treatment knee. There was also an observed delay in fatigue based on the evaluation of muscle oxygenation and muscle activity. Nevertheless, there were also gradual increases in TTF and number of cycles in the control knee. Control knee also had delay in the fatigue of muscle activity. The percent changes in the treatment and control knees were similar, which indicated that the learning effect was the reason for the growth of muscle endurance. Video records and seat pressure data, which were examined in another study, both showed postural changes of the subjects and a learning effect across sessions.

One finding of this study was that muscle oxygenation and muscle activity suggested muscle synergy during fatiguing knee flexion/extension, which was not discussed in previous studies of KT application. Another finding was the gradual increase in muscle endurance, in terms of TTF and number of cycles, in the control knee for 14 subjects across sessions, which revealing the significant effect from learning and postural change. This study suggests that future studies should take muscle synergy and learning effect into consideration when evaluating the effect of KT application or other types of medical application on joint performance and endurance.

Available for download on Sunday, September 18, 2022