Training Room Tips: The Mulligan Taping Technique is Effective for Ankle Sprain Prevention

Dick Moss, Editor, Physical Education

Appearance of the Mulligan Taping Technique for Ankle Sprains. Arrow Indicates Direction of Pull Applied by Tape
Appearance of the Mulligan Taping Technique for Ankle Sprains. Arrow Indicates Direction of Pull Applied by Tape
In a past article "A New Concept in Taping for Sprained Ankles", we described a new ankle taping method called the "Mulligan" ankle taping technique. Mulligan believes that most inversion ankle sprains are caused by the end of the fibula bone being "wrenched forward on the tibia," producing a "positional fault" that persists after the event, causing instability, pain and poor range of motion.

His technique involves manually gliding the fibula back to its correct position, then using two strips of tape to hold it in this position.

In our original article, we mentioned that this technique might be effective, not only in treating ankle inversion sprains, but in preventing such sprains.

Now, a new study has shown that the Mulligan technique is indeed an effective ankle injury preventative. In fact, it may be more effective than traditional taping methods.

The Study
The study, conducted at Australia's Curtin University of Technology, involved 125 healthy, male basketball players. The study group used the Mulligan taping technique on both ankles, while the control group players were given the option of any other ankle support method. The players participated in over 443 practices or games.

The Mulligan taping group experienced significantly fewer ankle injuries - only two ankle injuries versus the nine injuries experienced by the control group, whose subjects used different ankle support methods.

The Mulligan taping method appears to be an effective ankle injury prevention method. And since it employs only two 20 centimeter (10 inch) strips of tape, using this technique should save both time and money for your sports programs.

1. Warren Hammer, "Treatment of the Distal Fibular for Lateral Ankle Sprains." Dynamic Chiropractic, August 15, 2006.
2. K.R. Moiler, T.M. Hall and K.W. Robinson, (Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia), "The Role of Mulligan Fibular Repositioning Tape in the Prevention of Ankle injury in Basketball." The Journal of orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, Vol. 36 (9), p: 661-8, 2006.

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