Stroke occurs when blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost. (National Stroke Association, 2018).
How a person is affected by their stroke depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how the brain is damaged. Someone who had a small stroke may only have minor problems such as temporary weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes maybe permanently paralyzed on one side of the body or lose their ability to speak. Some people recover completely from stroke, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability. (National Stroke Association, 2018).
A stroke can affect your balance system, and the way in which the parts work together. In order to have a good balance, different parts of the body, like brain, eyes and limbs, need to work well together. Usually your body can overcome mild problems, but if they are severe, your system will be unable to work effectively and you will probably feel unsteady. (Stroke Association, 2018).
One of the major complications of stroke is spasticity, which is commonly defined as " a motor disorder characterized by a velocity-dependent increase in tonic stretch reflexes, as one component of the upper motor neuron syndrome". (Gerard E. Francisco, John R. McGuire, 2012).
There are different interventions for spasticity, vary from conservative (therapy and splinting) to more aggressive (surgery); most often, a variety of treatments are used at the same time or are employed interchangeably. Treatment options do not need to be used in a stepladder approach and indeed should not be. Current spasticity management options include Preventative measures. Therapeutic interventions (physical therapy, occupational therapy, hippotherapy, aquatics) and physical modalities (ultrasonography, electrical stimulation, biofeedback), Positioning/orthotics: Including taping, dynamic and static splints, wheelchairs, and Oral medications: Such as baclofen and dantrolene, Injectable neurolytic medications: Botulinum toxins and phenol, Surgical intervention. (Vanek,Z.F., 2016).
Kinesiology tape is applied to skin, with the intent to stabilize and support muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints as whole. Applications can also focus on fascia, the superficial lymphatic system, capillary system and nervous system. The type of cut, the amount of stretch, and the placement of the tape of the body will vary on the type of tissues being treated. (Kase,K.et.al., 2013).
The researchers recommend to conduct a research with regards to the effects of taping plantarflexor muscles on dynamic gait index score among stroke patients with spasticity. And also, to try to use or incorporate Kinesiology Taping on rehabilitation centers for other conditions involving spasticity.
Inconclusion, the use of the Kinesiology Tape is an effective way of inhibiting plantarflexor spasticity among stroke patients. Both Pre-Test and Post-Test 1-5 indicated significant improvement in test scores.