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Kinesio taping in musculoskeletal pain and disability that lasts for more than 4 weeks: is it time to peel off the tape and throw it out with the sweat? A systematic review with meta-analysis focused on pain and also methods of tape application
  1. Edwin Choon Wyn Lim1,
  2. Mathew Guo Xiang Tay
  1. 1Department of Physiotherapy, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore
  2. 2Collaborative Care (Clinical Services), National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to Dr Edwin Choon Wyn Lim, Department of Physiotherapy, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore 169608, Singapore; edwin.lim{at}uqconnect.edu.au

Abstract

Introduction In recent years, Kinesio tape has been used to support injured muscle and joints, and relieve pain. We compared the pain and disability in individuals with chronic musculoskeletal pain who were treated with Kinesio taping with those using minimal or other treatment approaches.

Methods Searches of eight major electronic databases were conducted. Data for pain and disability scores were extracted. Meta-analyses (wherever possible) with either a fixed or random effect(s) model, standardised mean differences (SMDs) and tests of heterogeneity were performed.

Results Seventeen clinical-controlled trials were identified and included in the meta-analyses. When compared to minimal intervention, Kinesio taping provided superior pain relief (pooled SMD=−0.36, 95% CI −0.64 to −0.09, p=0.009) but the pooled disability scores were not significantly different (pooled SMD=−0.41, 95% CI −0.83 to 0.01, p=0.05). No significant differences were found when comparing Kinesio taping to other treatment approaches for pain (pooled SMD=−0.44, 95% CI −1.69 to 0.82, p=0.49) and disability (pooled SMD=0.08, 95% CI −0.27 to 0.43, p=0.65).

Discussion Kinesio taping is superior to minimal intervention for pain relief. Existing evidence does not establish the superiority of Kinesio taping to other treatment approaches to reduce pain and disability for individuals with chronic musculoskeletal pain.

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