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Am J Sports Med. 1995 Mar-Apr;23(2):251-5.

The effect of elastic bandages on human knee proprioception in the uninjured population.

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Department of Surgery, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Elastic bandages are often used to treat musculoskeletal disorders, even though there is little scientific evidence currently to support this generalized practice. We tested the hypothesis that elastic bandages improve proprioception of the bandaged joint during their use, and that this benefit was more than temporary. The uninjured human knee was used as a model. Fifty-four volunteers (54 knees), aged 22 to 40 years, were asked to identify a prior set joint angle as their knee was passively extended. Each knee was tested without the elastic bandage, immediately after bandage application, after 1 hour of bandage wear, and finally after removal of the bandage. Results showed that elastic bandages significantly improved knee joint proprioception in the uninjured knee during the entire interval of their use (mean decrease in inaccuracy of 1.0 degree, equivalent to 25% improvement, P < 0.05), and that this benefit was lost when the bandage was removed. The magnitude of the improvement, or the potential beneficial effect of the bandage, was inversely related to the participant's inherent knee proprioceptive ability, which was demonstrated in the test group before the initial application of the bandage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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