This was the first study to investigate the effects of DT on VJ and MLA height in adolescent volleyball players with low MLA height. As a result of this study, it was observed that DT significantly reduced the ND distance, but did not have any significant effect on a functional parameter such as the VJ height.
Low MLA structure is implicated as a factor in lower extremity injuries in athletes due to overuse, together with excessive foot pronation.20 Taping is one of the conservative treatment options used to control increased pronation. Many studies investigating the acute effect of anti-pronation taping methods on MLA showed its positive effect on the distance of ND.21,22,14 One study with elite athletes found that rigid taping was more effective than Kinesio® taping in increasing navicular height. This finding was associated with the fact that rigid tapes had no stretching margin.23 In our study, we observed that the ND distance after DT decreased by the statistically significant extent of 1.7 mm in both feet. This finding was consistent with previous studies supporting the literature and might be due to the strong support the Dynamic® tape provides to the MLA, which tends to flatten under the weight of the foot to retract towards the high arch position. The main aspect of this study that differs from previous ones was the use of Dynamic® tapes as taping material. They are more rigid than Kinesio® tapes, albeit still flexible. Despite previous study results to suggest that rigid tapes were to be used most frequently in individuals with a low MLA and the ND distance could be reduced best with a rigid tape, these tapes limit movement to a certain extent because of their inflexibility. Kinesio® tapes, on the other hand, were found to have some restrictive effect on soft tissue without limiting active movement, but the number of studies with Kinesio® tapes is insufficient to have evidential value.10 Consequently, the Dynamic® tape is considered to be advantageous over the other types with its ability to easily stretch in four directions without restricting voluntary movement, while providing biomechanical support to the tissues involved.
Volleyball is a sport that can be performed on different surfaces including sand, grass, wood/parquet, etc. In a study with 15 beach volleyball players, Bishop24 compared the heights of 4 different types of VJ on the wooden floor and sand and reported higher vertical jumps on the wooden floor in all types of jumps. In another study Giatsis et al.25 compared the VJ height of volleyball players on sand and wood surfaces and found lower vertical jumps on the sand as compared to wooden floor, resulting in an increase of the friction coefficient between the foot and the ground, due to the fact that sand was mobile floor. In similar studies with elite adolescent volleyball players, it was reported that a mobile floor surface structure such as sand negatively affected jumping performance and associated this finding with the greater decrease in fatigue-related lower limb muscle activation on a mobile ground.26 In our study, after the taping procedure, no significant difference was found between VJ height values of the volleyball players either with or without shoes on or on the basis of floor type, namely, the eight different floor surfaces used: taraflex, concrete, parquet, grass, soil, artificial grass, sand, and tartan. Although the measurement results were not statistically significant, the biggest increase in the VJ height after taping was obtained on parquet floor with shoes on and on tartan surface without shoes. Furthermore, VJ height on sand turned out to be relatively low compared to other floor surfaces. The results of this study were consistent with previous study results. Based on these results, it is possible to argue that a fragmented and mobile surface structure such as sand may have an adverse effect on the jumping performance by causing resistance against athlete’s foot movements. The relatively higher vertical jumps recorded on parquet and tartan floors as compared to grass can be associated with a weaker shoe grip (amount of friction) on the parquet and tartan than on grass. Reduced amount of friction might be responsible for smaller resistance in the beginning of an active movement, enabling the athlete to jump higher.
Taping is a method frequently used among athletes to prevent injuries and improve performance components such as jumping function. As a sub-parameter of jumping performance, VJ is considered as a widely used assessment criterion in many sports about an athlete’s lower limb strength and neuromuscular fatigue.18,4,1 Nakajima and Baldridge15 investigated the short-term effect of Kinesio® taping on VJ height in healthy individuals and found that taping did not have a positive or negative effect on VJ height. Nunes et al.27 reported that in their study on 20 healthy athletes from different branches, Kinesio® taping did not instantly create significant changes in VJ height. In their study with 18 healthy female track-and-field athletes, Schiffer et al.28 also stated that Kinesio® taping did not affect jumping performance; while Cheung et al.29 showed on 64 experienced volleyball players that Kinesio® taping did not acutely increase VJ height. As a result of this study, it was found that DT had no statistically significant effect on VJ height. In conclusion, findings of the study are complementary with the previous studies explored in the literature review. A possible interpretation is that a change in a single component, for example in the height of the MLA, is not sufficient to improve VJ performance, which varies in relation to many components. Furthermore, in recent studies investigating the relationship between MLA height and sports performance, the view expressed was that the static foot posture measurements used in the assessment were insufficient to provide a complete picture on the dynamic functions of the foot.30 As MLA height was statistically evaluated in this study, the results of the NDT used might be insufficient to show how a taping intervention to support the arch affected vertical jumping height, as a dynamic activity.
The limitations of this study can be listed as follows; first, asymptomatic female athletes with no history of injury were evaluated. There is a need for future studies examining the effects of taping on symptomatic disorders. Secondly, participants were evaluated within approximately 20-25 minutes after taping. This period was perhaps sufficient to reveal the possible effects, but studies to determine the long-term effects of taping are needed to obtain more precise information. Finally, there was no study found in the literature that scientifically demonstrates whether Dynamic® taping has an effect on vertical jumping performance. Further studies are needed to clarify the clinical significance of our study findings.