University of Oregon

Department of Human Physiology Graduate Studies in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine

duckweb | Blackboard | Webmail | UO Classes | UO Home

The Effectiveness of Prophylactic Taping and Bracing on Alleviating Chronic Wrist Pain in Female Gymnasts

Ashley Heard MS ATC

Evidence to support the use of various wrist supports in managing wrist pain during gymnastics activity is needed.

To determine the effectiveness of various wrist supports at alleviating chronic wrist pain during gymnastics activity. To determine if pain symptoms and other fac

tors associated with wrist pain in the current study were similar to those reported in previous research.

Repeated measures design.

Gymnastics training facility.

Patients or Other Participants:
Fourteen healthy gymnasts (age = 13 ±1.9 years; height = 146.1 ±10.2cm; weight = 40.1 ±9.7kg ) who had been experiencing wrist pain during gymnastics activity at least six months prior to and at the time this study was conducted.

Subjects performed three fundamental gymnastics skills in each of five braced and one non-braced condition. Braced conditions included

  1. Athletic tape;
  2. Neoprene Wrist Support;
  3. Tiger Paw Wrist Support;
  4. Ezy®ProBrace with palmar pad; and
  5. Ezy®ProBrace without palmar pad. Subjects then completed a short questionnaire regarding their history of wrist pain and participation in gymnastics.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
A 100mm un-hatched Visual Analog Scale (VAS) was used to rate the level of wrist pain in each of the six conditions.

In all braced conditions, except for athletic tape (P = 2.06), wrist pain during activity was significantly reduced (P < 0.05). Only athletic tape and the Ezy®ProBrace with palmar pad were observed to be significantly different (P < 0.05) at reducing wrist pain during activity. Factors associated with, and descriptions of, wrist pain were similar to those reported in previous studies.

Athletic tape applied circumferentially around the wrist is not an effective intervention when trying to alleviate wrist pain during gymnastics activity. Functional wrist supports significantly reduce pain experienced in the wrists during gymnastics activity.