The aim of this study was to determine whether gluteal taping on the affected side improved hip extension during stance phase of walking for persons following stroke. Fifteen subjects who had suffered a stroke months to years previously resulting in mild to moderate gait impairments participated in the study. Their gait was measured under control, sham, and gluteal taping conditions, in random order. For each condition, subjects walked at a self-selected and a fast speed. Hip angle relative to that obtained during quiet standing, step length, stride length and walking velocity were measured. Hip extension increased significantly with gluteal taping (p < 0.05) for both walking speeds at late stance phase of walk compared to sham taping and control. The mean absolute difference between gluteal and control conditions for self-selected velocity was 14.2 degrees (95% Cl 8.6 to 19.8) whereas the difference between sham and control conditions was 2.0 degrees (95% Cl -2.0 to 6.0). Also, for both speeds, step length on the unaffected side increased significantly with gluteal taping compared with either the control or placebo conditions. The absolute difference between gluteal taping and control conditions at self-selected velocity was 3.3 cm (95% Cl 2.2 to 4.3) and between sham and control conditions was 0.6 cm (95% Cl -0.8 to 1.9). Affected step length and walking velocity, however, remained unchanged. Lastly, there was no significant difference between the control and sham taping condition for any of the measured variables. Gluteal taping may be a useful adjunct to current rehabilitation gait training strategies. © Australian Physiotherapy Association 2006.
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