Taping in cerebral palsy
Children with cerebral palsy (CP) may present with a variety of motor impairments including altered muscle tone, loss of strength, and balance and coordination problems. Orthopaedic surgery, constraint-induced movement therapy, occupational therapy, and traditional therapy are some of the treatments that are generally used in the course of CP treatment. In addition, studies have emphasized the possible benefits of several recent methods such as taping, which is frequently used in paediatric rehabilitation clinics.
Taping is an increasingly popular adjunct to therapy because it is easy to apply and inexpensive, and it can be easily removed or changed according to therapy objectives. The goals of taping in children with CP are to correct postural misalignment, enhance the stability of joints, activate weak muscles, support weak structures, manage spasticity, and stimulate the sensory system. But is it effective?
9 papers were included in this review, all with populations consisting of spastic children. Outcome measures and goals were diverse, but could be classified using the ICF model: effects on kinematics, ROM, and muscle tone and power; effects on activity measures such as GMFM, Nine Hole Peg Test, tests of motor proficiency, and balance; effect on participation as measured by WeeFIM.
Most taping was done with elastic tape, and usually applied to multiple regions of the body, but details of application (tension, frequency, duration), goal of the tape and level of training of the therapist were not provided.
Despite the shortcomings in study design and description, some benefits of taping were found in the population, and functional gains according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health were obtained. The immediate effect of taping is unclear, but its long-term effect on activity seems to be promising in the rehabilitation of children with CP.
Randomized controlled trials with larger sample sizes and with more specific taping procedures are required to strengthen the evidence for the effectiveness of taping in children with CP.
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> From: Guhcan et al., Dev Med Child Neurol 59 (2017) 26-30(Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Mac Keith Press. Click here for the online summary.