3 min read

🦀 Issue 54 - Rocktape :( and Multi-surface

🦀 Issue 54 - Rocktape :( and Multi-surface

This week, we’re talking a lot of knee OA, some stroke rehab, and the first part of a massive review of PT treatment of Parkinson’s. Seriously, it’s a doozy. Also this week, need a summer escape? Try Escape This Podcast! It’s an audio-based escape room podcast with puzzles, exploration, and more. Neil Patrick Harris has even been on a few episodes. I listen to the show myself and also run the escape rooms as a game master for friends. Seriously, it’s awesome fun. Highly recommend.

And now, on with the newsletter!

RockTape + Exercise = Just Exercise

The Gist - This RCT checked out the effect of RockTape plus exercise on knee OA and found the RockTape to be lacking. 36 patients with knee OA were put into the trial, half were given taping over their bad knees and half were given sham taping. Both groups were assigned a strenuous exercise program by a therapist who was blinded to their group allocation. After 8 weeks of this (with tape being changed out weekly), there were no between group differences in pain at rest or with movement, nor were there significant differences in any secondary outcome measures. Both groups did significantly improve with pain in movement and at rest, but no between group differences existed.

Tell Me More - The researchers dove into this test because of the lack of stringent research assessing the value of KinesioTape or RockTape on OA. The companies make claims about its effectiveness and it’s definitely popular (just wait ’til the Olympics, it’ll be everywhere), but there hasn’t been much high quality research of it. This research was indeed high quality, with blinding, a fixed protocol, and well-structured exercise sessions. Exercise adherence was high in both groups, so they really went at it. How was the tape applied? Two pieces applied with the knee in 90° flexion, one split around either side of the patella from the quads down to the tibial tuberosity and the second wrapped around the patellar tendon.

Paper? Sure thing kid.

Walk Everywhere in SCI Rehab.

The Gist - In SCI rehab, avoiding falls is huge, right? So how can we help patients avoid more falls? Get them walking on weird surfaces, that’s how. This study was carried out in tertiary rehabilitation centers as patients went through gait training on a standard track compared to training on a track with different surfaces (including artificial turf, soft rubber, and pebbles). They split 54 patients into control and experimental, then put them through gait training for 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week for 4 weeks either on weird surfaces or the standard, based on the group. It went swimmingly!

Patients in the experimental group showed significant 6MWT, TUG, and Sit-To-Stand improvement at 2 and 4 weeks while those in control did not. At 6 months, only 18% of the experimental group had taken a fall compared with 46% of control. Noice!

Tell Me More - I will do so gladly. They created artificial environments for their patients out of 10 meter long x 1 meter wide tracts of fake pebbles, 1.5inch artificial turf, and 3inch foam rubber. The participants practiced on these surfaces daily, taking turns walking on each one. This improved their ability at the end of the month and through the first 6 months, but, unfortunately, the results did not last beyond 6 months, with the experimental group returning to baseline abilities after 5 months without this type of training. Researchers speculate that this is due to the lack of a novel task to learn from, so participants regressed.

Where’s that paper? It’s here.

Did that feel short? Yea, I feel you. But you know how you can get twice as many articles each week? Just become a King Crab supporter right here.

Just this week, they got an audio version and two extra articles, one a narrative review of Parkinson’s treatment and another about hydrotherapy for knee OA.

Can’t wait to see you next week,


Bibliography of this edition:

  • Amatachaya, S., Promkeaw, D., Arayawichanon, P., Thaweewannakij, T., & Amatachaya, P. (2021). Various Surfaces Benefited Functional Outcomes and Fall Incidence in Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury: A Randomized Controlled Trial With Prospective Data Follow-up. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 102(1), 19–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2020.08.009
  • McManus, K. L., Kimmel, L. A., & Holland, A. E. (2021). Rocktape provides no benefit over sham taping in people with knee osteoarthritis who are completing an exercise program: A randomised trial. Physiotherapy. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physio.2021.05.005


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