Postural characteristics of female dressage riders using 3D motion analysis and the effects of an athletic taping technique: A randomised control trial

Authors

  • Jill Alexander
  • ,
  • Sarah Jane Hobbs
  • ,
  • Karen May
  • ,
  • Alison Northrop
  • ,
  • Charlotte Brigden
  • ,
  • James Selfe
  • , 2014

This study used an athletic taping method to investigate the effects of taping on improving dynamic posture and reducing asymmetry in horse riders.

Rationale

Athletic taping is considered to be beneficial in other sports for improving dynamic function. As riders are reported to be asymmetrical during riding taping may improve dynamic posture.

Objectives

To observe postural characteristics of female dressage riders, through application of three-dimensional motion analysis and to assess the effects of athletic taping on postural asymmetry during sitting trot.

Methods

Randomised cross-over. Data collection took place at Myerscough Agricultural College in an indoor riding area. Ten healthy female experienced dressage riders participated. Movement kinematics of the trunk and pelvis, pre and post taping intervention.

Results

Riders presented pre-intervention with asymmetric movement characteristics through dynamic observation of trunk and pelvic postures during sitting trot. A significant increase (p=<0.05) in the range (°) of trunk lateral-flexion following tape intervention applied over the thoracic spine.

Conclusion

This study supports the quantification of dynamic postural characteristics of dressage athletes by three-dimensional motion analysis. Asymmetrical postures occur within dressage riders when performing sitting trot. The application of tape to ‘align’ asymmetry altered riders’ postures. Taping over the thoracic region resulted in a compensatory increase in motion through the lumbar region. Clinicians should approach the application of postural taping with an awareness of the restrictive mechanisms of tape. Findings may help clinicians determine whether technique/type of tape applied is suitable for achieving marginal gains in the alignment of posture in competitive dressage athletes.