Postural changes due to tape in riders
Dressage riders strive to be harmonious with the horses movement and have correct application when giving aids.
Rider asymmetry is mainly corrected with physiotherapeutic interventions focusing on core stabilisation exercises. Methods of taping for general posture enhancement has shown positive effects.
Therefore, this study aims to investigate mechanical changes in the rider’s posture following the intervention of tape.
Ten healthy female dressage riders were tested using three-dimensional motion analysis for their trunk and pelvis movements before and after tape application.
Reflective markers were attached to riders' tight fitting clothes at specific body landmarks to help with testing.
The tape application was standardised by using a single qualified clinician with experience of applying athletic tape for posture control.
Results show that riders had asymmetric characteristics of trunk and pelvic postures during sitting trot before tape was applied. Once tape was applied over the thoracic spine, there was a significant increase in the range of trunk lateral flexion.
This increased motion in the lumbar region is to compensate for the tape in the thoracic region. These results show that applying tape to improve symmetry can alter the rider’s posture.
Expert opinion by Science-Equine.com
Although the application of tape may help align the spine, it is important to be aware of the restrictive mechanisms and the possible compensations this may cause. This may help clinicians decide which taping technique would best suit the rider or if the compensations would become more prominent.
> From: Alexander et al., Phys Ther Sport 16 (2015) 154-161. All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd. Click here for the online summary.